Respiratory tests

What are they used for?

Respiratory or breathing tests are used to measure how well your lungs are working. If you are feeling out of breath, respiratory tests can help to determine the cause.

They measure things like:

  • how much air your lungs can take in
  • how well oxygen is absorbed by your lungs
  • how strong the muscles are that control your breathing
  • how quickly you can blow air out of your lungs

Your results will be compared to the expected values for a healthy person of your age, gender and height. Your body mass index will also be calculated, as being overweight or underweight can affect your lung function. Comparing your respiratory test results to predicted values allows your doctor to see if your lungs are performing as well as they should be.

What to expect

Various tests may be undertaken as part of the diagnosis process.

All tests are performed using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. We also sometimes use medication to improve the results, which you will be given during your test.

A clinician will explain in detail in advance of your appointment exactly what to expect so you are prepared.

Before your test someone from our team will personally contact you by telephone to give you information about what to expect and how to prepare.

Book your appointment here.

What can they diagnose?

Respiratory tests are used to diagnose the possible causes of breathlessness and show whether any problems with your lungs are obstructive or restrictive. Obstructive airways diseases (such as COPD and asthma) result in narrowing of the airways and affect your ability to breathe out quickly. Restrictive lung diseases (such as pulmonary fibrosis) restrict your lungs’ ability to expand fully limiting the amount of air you can breathe in.

Among the conditions that may be diagnosed / managed using a respiratory test include:

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – symptoms include breathing difficulties and an inability to exhale normally.
  • Asthma – wheezing and shortness of breath caused by inflamed airways.
  • Emphysema – problems blowing out air due to lung damage.
  • Bronchitis – an infection of the airway that may become chronic.
  • Pneumonia – an infection of the alveoli in the lungs.
  • Emphysema – damage to the alveoli normally caused by smoking.
  • Pulmonary edema – a leak of fluid into the air sacs, normally caused by heart failure or injury.
  • Interstitial lung disease.
  • Other common and less common respiratory disorders.

Other tests may also be used to determine the cause of your symptoms.

Our team of experts don’t stop until we find the cause

Request a call back from the Ridgeway Respiratory Services team to discuss your personalised diagnostic tests.