Lung Function Testing

Definition - What does Lung Function Testing mean?

Lung function testing is used to evaluate how well an individual’s lungs are working. Most lung function tests measure the physical ability of the lungs to take in air, the strength of breathing muscles, and the ability to deliver oxygen to the blood. Lung function testing is used to diagnose chronic conditions or lung damage, and to identify the cause of breathing difficulties. Lung function testing may also be referred to as pulmonary function testing.

WorkplaceTesting explains Lung Function Testing

Lung function testing is conducted using an array of methods. Tests that measure actual breathing capacity include the spirometry, body plethysmography, lung diffusion capacity test and the exercise stress test. The spirometry and lung diffusion tests use a mouthpiece to record breathing data. A plethysmography places the test subject in an airtight booth during testing. For an exercise stress test, which measures cardio and pulmonary responses, the subject is asked to exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike while information is collected. Pulse oximetry and arterial blood gas tests are used to measure the amount of oxygen in the test subject’s blood. Pulse oximetry is noninvasive and uses light to detect the saturation of oxygen in an individual’s blood. An arterial blood gas test requires the examiner to take a blood sample.

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