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Spirometry vs. PFT - What's the difference?

Differentiating between Spirometry Testing & Pulmonary Function Testing

When it comes to assessing lung health, two common tests often come into play: spirometry testing and pulmonary function testing (PFT). While both serve the purpose of evaluating lung function, they have distinct differences that are important to understand. So, what’s the difference in PFT vs Spirometry? Read on!

What is Spirometry Testing?

Learning the Spirometry Basics

Spirometry testing is like a lung’s performance review. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that measures how much and how quickly air moves in and out of your lungs. Picture blowing bubbles through a straw – that’s essentially what spirometry entails.

The Spirometry Procedure

During a spirometry test, you’ll be asked to take a deep breath and then blow out as hard and fast as you can into a tube connected to a spirometer. This device records various lung volumes and capacities, providing valuable insights into your respiratory function.

What is a Spirometry Test Used For?

Doctors often rely on spirometry to diagnose and monitor conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other lung diseases. By assessing parameters like forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), spirometry helps paint a clearer picture of your lung health.

What is Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)?

Pulmonary Function Testing

Pulmonary function testing (PFT) takes the evaluation a step further. It’s like a comprehensive check-up for your lungs, encompassing spirometry along with additional measurements to provide a holistic view of respiratory function.

PFTs: The Comprehensive Approach

In addition to spirometry, PFT may include tests such as lung volume measurements, gas exchange efficiency assessments, and airway responsiveness evaluations. Together, these measurements offer a more detailed understanding of your lung health.

When is a Pulmonary Function Test Recommended?

PFT is often recommended when a more thorough assessment of lung function is needed. It helps diagnose and monitor a wide range of conditions, including interstitial lung diseases, pulmonary fibrosis, and neuromuscular disorders affecting the respiratory system.

PFT vs Spirometry

knowing the difference

While spirometry testing focuses on airflow, pulmonary function testing (PFT) offers a broader evaluation of lung function. Both tests play crucial roles in assessing respiratory health, helping healthcare providers make informed decisions about diagnosis and treatment.

spirometry vs PFT
Take Control of Your Lung Health
If you’re experiencing respiratory symptoms or have concerns about your lung function, don’t hesitate to schedule a spirometry or pulmonary function test with us here at Work Certified. Taking proactive steps toward understanding and managing your lung health is essential!