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What happens during the test?

  1. You will be asked several questions (listed below) that will be used to determine what ‘normal’ lung values would be for you if your lungs were healthy.
    • Age: lung function declines with age
    • Height: taller people have larger lungs
    • Sex: women have smaller lung volumes
    • Race: African American's and Asian's generally have smaller lung volumes.
  2. You will be asked to sit up straight and uncross your legs or to stand up
  3. Often you will have a nose plug placed on your nose.
  4. You will be instructed to:
    1. Take in a big breath.
    2. Place the mouthpiece into your mouth and seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
    3. Blast your air into the mouthpiece as hard and fast as you can, squeezing out all the air in your lungs.
    4. Keep on blowing out the same breath until you are told to stop.
    5. To make sure you understand the directions ask the technician to demonstrate the procedure.
    6. The test will be repeated several time to make sure that the measurements are correct.
  5. The spirometry may be repeated after you receive a bronchodilator inhaler or nebulizer.

Reviewed 9-11-06
Updated 09-11-06


2021 American Association for Respiratory Care