Spirometry Tests

This test is usually done to confirm a diagnosis of COPD and the monitoring of the disease.

The spirometer measures airflow and its volume and needs to be done at least every two years.

We ask that you arrive in plenty of time for your appointment.  Any exercise before the test may affect the results, rushing to the surgery because you are late counts as exercise!  Also avoid eating a big meal less than 2 hours before the test.

If you use inhalers or take oral medication for your respiratory problem, please refrain from using them prior to the test, as advised on the list below:

  • No short acting inhaler (usually coloured BLUE) for 4 hours before the test.
  • No long acting reliever/protector inhaler (coloured GREEN or, if combined with a steroid, may be red & white or purple) for 12 hours.
  • No long acting daily inhaler (GREY Tiotropium inhaler) or oral medications for 24 hours.

If you have to use any medication, through necessity or simply forget, just inform the person carrying out the test.

Spirometry is a very low risk test. However, blowing out hard can increase the pressure in your chest, abdomen and eye. So, you may be advised not to have spirometry if you have:

  • unstable angina.
  • had a recent pneumothorax (air trapped beneath the chest wall).
  • had a recent heart attack or stroke.
  • had recent eye or abdominal surgery.
  • coughed up blood recently and the cause is not known.