If you've been suffering from shortness of breath, or your COPD or asthma has been getting worse, your doctor may prescribe a pulmonary function test. This test is designed to test how your lungs function. It can also be used to monitor the treatments you're receiving for your medical condition. If you've never had a pulmonary function test before, you'll need to be prepared. Here are four steps you'll need to take for your test.
Stop Smoking the Day Before Your Test
If you smoke, it's important that you stop for at least a full day prior to your test. Your doctor will need to get a clear picture of the way your lungs function. Unfortunately, they won't be able to do that if you've recently smoked. Refraining from tobacco use for 24-hours prior to your test will allow your lungs to clear up enough to function during your pulmonary function test. If you've tried to quit smoking in the past without success, talk to your doctor about a smoking cessation program.
Eat a Light Meal Prior to Test
On the day of your pulmonary function test, you'll want to eat a light meal. Avoid overeating and avoid consuming large quantities of liquids. Instead, have a small meal right before you leave for your test and drink only small quantities of liquids. It's also important that you avoid drinking any beverages that contain caffeine, as that will speed up your heart rate, and interfere with your tests.
Wear the Right Clothing to Your Test
Your pulmonary function test will consist of several different components. One of the components will require you to walk for several minutes. Because of this, it's important that you wear the right clothing for your test. Try to wear clothing that is loose-fitting so that you're comfortable during your walk. Also, because blood will be drawn during your test, you'll want to wear a shirt that will allow your arms to be exposed easily.
Watch for Warning Signs During Your Test
During your pulmonary function test, the medical staff will be monitoring your lung function. However, it will be up to you to monitor for potential side effects or warning signs. While you're undergoing your test, watch for arm, chest or jaw pain, fatigue, dizziness or sudden and severe shortness of breath. If you experience any of those symptoms during your test, let someone know right away.
Talk to a business like Moogerfeld Internal Medicine for more details.