Pulmonary function tests are non-invasive and they provide doctors with valuable information about how well a person's lungs are working. The function tests show how much air the lungs are capable of taking in, as well as how much they are able to expel with each respiration. Along with lung capacity, the tests also show how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are taken in and released. Pulmonary function tests are used along with sleep studies to determine whether sleep apnea is present, and if so, how severe the condition is.
Doctors will recommend a pulmonary function test if they feel the patient's lungs are not working to their fullest capacity. A doctor may also ask for a function test to be performed while a patient is undergoing a sleep study. Pulmonary function tests are also vital in the diagnosis of conditions like chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, and tuberculosis. A pulmonary function test may also be requested if a doctor believes that something is blocking the airways or is disrupting the flow of air within the lungs. If your doctor has recommended you receive a pulmonary function test, please contact Southern California Pulmonologists and Intensivists to schedule an appointment.
Correcting poor lung function will be determined by what is causing the problem. A pulmonary rehabilitation program is often the first course of action. Breathing exercises that focus on expanding the lungs can help to improve lung capacity. This will also help bring more usable oxygen into the lungs. As the lungs become more efficient, oxygen levels in the blood will rise. If a person has breathing difficulties due to damage within the lungs, using supplemental oxygen can help bring the numbers back up.
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