Will a spirometry test show if I have asthma?

Q:

Will a spirometry test show if I have asthma?

A:

A spirometry test is designed to detect both obstructive and restrictive airway diseases. Asthma is an obstructive condition, meaning that the air passages of your lungs are swollen or inflamed and thus your ability to force air from your lungs is limited. One of the measures of a spirometry test is the rate at which you are able to force air from your lungs. If your asthma is symptomatic at the time of testing, the effects of asthma’s obstruction will be detected by a spirometry test.

If you suffer from episodic asthma or are asymptomatic at the time of your spirometry, it is possible that your lung function results will appear normal. However, in the workplace setting, spirometry is usually conducted as a protective measure to ensure that employees with existing lung conditions are not placed in situations that could endanger them or worsen their condition. If you suffer from asthma, it is important that your employer be advised of your condition so that you are not assigned duties that could be hazardous to your health.

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Written by Shauna Krahn
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Shauna Krahn is the manager of medical services at SureHire Occupational Testing, a leading expert in the occupational health and wellness testing industry. SureHire is revolutionizing the occupational testing industry through its proprietary Fitness-to-Work assessments, drug testing adulteration protocols, automated tracking systems, standardized national training and certification system, and industry leading online technologies.   Full Bio