Can spirometry testing be used to diagnose lung diseases?

By Adrianna MacPherson | Last updated: April 6, 2023
Presented by SureHire Occupational Testing Services

Spirometry testing is a screening tool. It's not a diagnostic test, and we're not able to diagnose respiratory issues with this test alone; it's really just a screening tool. If we see abnormalities in the spirometry test, we encourage the person to get further testing, something like full pulmonary function testing, or arrange a visit to a pulmonologist where they can receive a diagnosis.

It's also a good idea to maintain a comprehensive lung health program beyond spirometry testing. Depending on what workers are exposed to, a chest X-ray may also be a requirement. If employers are having their workers wear respirators (such as negative pressure respirators, positive pressure respirators or supplied air respirators), they should also be doing medical surveillance with regards to respiratory health. This involves ensuring that an individual is free from any contraindications that can actually put them at risk just from wearing a respirator. It also means making sure that workers receive a proper respirator fit test before being sent out onto work sites. When it comes to lung health, we really preach a full package. It's best practice to ensure you're not exposing your workers to lung problems - and that you provide regular testing to ensure their lung health isn't deteriorating as a result of their work.

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Wellness Workplace Testing 101 Lung Function Testing Health and Safety Physical Demands Analysis Spirometry Worker Health Monitoring

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