1) What is spirometry

Female patient with clinician in hospital room

Spirometry is:

  • A test to show how your lungs are working.
  • One of the first tests which may be carried out to investigate any respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough or wheeze.
  • The test can show if the narrowing of your airways is reversible or not and this helps with the diagnosis of either asthma or COPD.
  • Used to measure how much air can be quickly blown out of your lungs in 1 second (this is called your FEV1 or Forced Expiratory Volume 1).
  • Used to measure the full amount of air that can be breathed out FVC orĀ Forced Vital Capacity. (There will always be a small amount of air which remains in your lungs to prevent them from collapsing).