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What a Pulmonary Function Test Can Reveal

If you’ve been having trouble breathing, a pulmonary function test can help your doctor uncover the root of your problem and develop a customized treatment plan for you. At Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine in Algonquin, Illinois, we’re committed to helping you breathe easier. 

Pulmonary and sleep experts Dennis Kellar, MD, and Madhu Gundavaram, MD, and the rest of our providers use noninvasive pulmonary function tests to help diagnose pulmonary disorders and functional lung problems for patients. To help you better understand why your provider may order a pulmonary function test, read on. 

What is a pulmonary function test?

Pulmonary function tests are tests that help us understand how well your lungs are working. Since they’re noninvasive, you don’t have to worry about anything going into your body or lungs.  

Different pulmonary function tests can check for different types of problems with your lungs. Your provider at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine will determine which tests to give you based on your medical history, symptoms, and a physical exam. Tests may include:

Your provider may also order a chest X-ray and more advanced diagnostic tests if required.

What conditions can a pulmonary function test reveal?

Most lung disorders arise due to problems with moving air in and out of your lungs. Most breathing problems are due to two main types of pulmonary disorders: obstructive pulmonary disorders and restrictive pulmonary disorders. 

Obstructive pulmonary disorders stop air from leaving your lungs, creating a decrease in the flow of air, while restrictive pulmonary disorders affect how much air you can take into your lungs. 

A pulmonary function test can help your doctor diagnose the cause of your breathing disorder and identify conditions, such as:

Your provider may also use a pulmonary function test to monitor how well you respond to different treatments or before you have surgery, especially if you smoke or have existing heart or lung issues. 

To learn more about pulmonary function tests, book an appointment online or over the phone with Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine today. We now also offer TELEMEDICINE, so you can meet with us from the comfort of your own home.

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