Pulmonary lung tests, also referred to as Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT), are a series of tests that are a very important part of medical treatment. These tests are used to check both the current health of a person’ lung functions and to manage treatment for people with various lung issues. These tools are a very easy to administer and they provide accurate and vital results to help ensure overall patient health.
What Are Pulmonary Lung Tests?
Pulmonary Lung Tests, or Pulmonary Function Tests, are used to evaluate how well the patient can breathe, by measuring how well a person can inhale and exhale air. These tests also are used to evaluate how well your lungs are able to take in oxygen and to distribute it to various parts of the body. Typically, these tests are administered with a specialized mouthpiece. The patient is then asked to breathe into the mouthpiece repeatedly, while the medical instruments take the necessary measurements.
Reasons for Pulmonary Lung Tests
There are several reasons why a doctor may need to administer a pulmonary lung test, including:
Depending on the patient’s specific situation, a physician may include a series of pulmonary lung tests as part of a routine physical. The doctor will take into account the person’s age, current health condition and other pertinent information to determine if these tests are necessary. The benefit is that these tests can help detect many types of lung issues, such as restrictive lung disorder, that may otherwise go undetected.
Signs of Lung Disease
A doctor also may order a series of pulmonary function tests for patients that are displaying signs of a possible lung disorder. Some of these signs include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing up blood, wheezing, and persistent cough. These tests can help to diagnose or rule out a variety of lung disorders.
Even after a person is diagnosed with a lung disorder, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and allergies, a doctor may still order a series of pulmonary function tests. This is done most commonly to test the effectiveness of a patient’s current treatment plan. These test results give doctors the data they need to determine if the patient’s current treatments are working effectively or if it needs to be adjusted.
Pulmonary lung tests play a vital role in patient healthcare. Whether using these tests to identify potential lung problems or to help manage a patient’s treatment plan, it is important that physicians have these test kits readily available, and that the staff know how to use and read the test results accurately. Ultimately, these tests could literally mean the difference between life and death.