Why are Pulmonary Function Tests Performed
Your doctor might arrange for Pulmonary Function tests (PFT) to evaluate how well your lungs are functioning. These are not blood tests but rather tests that are done by a trained technician in the clinic. You will be explained and demonstrated on how to perform the test. If you already have a lung-related underlying medical problem, your doctor may recommend this test to see how the disease has progressed or to see how the condition is responding to the treatment he has prescribed for you. Pulmonary function tests are not painful in any way and there is no special preparation that is needed ahead of time, such as use of extra medication or fasting to do them.
Pulmonary function tests may be ordered for you by your chest specialist or pulmonologist in the following common conditions:
- If you are experiencing symptoms of cough or shortness of breath
2. If you have symptoms or history of Asthma, COPD or Lung fibrosis
3. For monitoring the progression of chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also known as COPD, asthma or lung fibrosis
4. To monitor the condition and function of your lungs, especially if you are regularly exposed to certain toxic substances in the workplace or your environment
5. Pulmonary function tests are also used to determine your safety and suitability for before surgery to ensure that anesthesia as well as recovery from anesthesia is safe and uncomplicated.
The following conditions can be diagnosed with the aid of pulmonary function tests
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Lung fibrosis
- Asbestosis, a disease brought on by asbestos exposure.
- Pulmonary tumor
- Bronchiectasis, a disease that causes the lungs’ airways to enlarge and extend making them less functional
- Sarcoidosis, a disease that results in inflammation of the liver, skin, eyes, lymph nodes, lungs, and other tissues
- Scleroderma, which is a condition that affects the body’s connective tissues and can also affect the lungs
- Weakness in the chest wall’s muscle as in Neuromuscular diseases and muscular dystrophy
Please inform your doctor:
If you recently suffered a heart attack or underwent chest surgery
If eye surgery was recently performed
If you recently underwent major abdominal surgery
If you have a history of cardiac arrythmias
Most patients are generally thought to be safe for pulmonary function tests. However, you may feel slightly dizziness during or after the test. This is not unexpected and improves in a few minutes. You should alert the technician performing the test or the physician. Difficulty in doing the test is extremely unusual and very easily manageable.