Being an internist, Dr. Parikh is able to work with patients experiencing breathing problems. Both offices in Cary and Raleigh offer onsite PFT (pulmonary function testing) services for quick attention to your problem. Lung function can play a huge role in everyone’s day to day life and is obviously a critical need for each and every patient. If you are experiencing breathing problems that seem out of the ordinary, contact one of our convenient offices today to schedule an appointment.
Learn more about Pulmonary Function and Testing
Exactly what Are Lung Function Tests?
Lung function evaluations, also known as pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) function tests, measure the performance level of your lungs. These evaluations are employed to look for the cause of breathing difficulties, such as breathlessness, shortness of breath or other types of breathing difficulties.
Lung function evaluations measure:
- How much air you are able to take in to your lungs at one time. This amount is compared with that of other folks with a similar age, height, and gender. This will indicate whether it is in the “normal” range immediately.
- How much air-you can blow from the lungs and how fast you’re able to get it done.
- How well your lungs transfer oxygen to the blood.
- The strength of your breathing muscles.
Physicians use lung function tests (also known as Pulmonary function tests or PFTs) to help diagnose ailments including asthma, pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lung tissue), and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary illness).
Lung function evaluations also are used to check the extent of devastation caused by illnesses such as pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis (sar-koy-DOE-sis). Additionally, these evaluations may be used to assess how well treatments, including asthma medications, are working.
What Kind of Breathing Tests are Commonly Used?
Lung function evaluations include breathing evaluations and tests that measure the oxygen level in your blood. The respiration tests most often used are:
- Spirometry (spi-ROM-ehtre). This evaluation measures how much air you’ll be able to breathe in and out. Additionally, it measures how fast you can blow air outside.
- Body plethysmography (pleth iz MOG-ra-fe). This evaluation measures how much air is present in your lungs when you take a deep breath. In addition, it quantifies how much air remains in your lungs after you breathe out fully.
- Lung diffusion capability. This test measures how well oxygen passes from your lungs for your bloodstream.
Unfortunately, these tests may not always end up revealing the specific cause of respiration difficulties. So, you may end up needing to have other evaluations too, like an exercise stress test. This test measures overall how your heart and lungs function while you workout on a treadmill or cycle.
Two evaluations that measure the oxygen level in your blood are pulse oximetry and arterial blood gas evaluations. These evaluations also are called blood oxygen tests.
Pulse oximetry quantifies your blood oxygen level using a specific light. For an arterial blood gas test, your physician takes an example of your blood, generally from an artery in your wrist. The sample is delivered to a laboratory, where its oxygen level is measured.
Does a PFT hurt?
No – lung function evaluations usually are painless and very infrequently cause any unwanted side effects. You may feel some distress during an arterial blood gas test when the blood sample is taken.