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Everything You Need to Know About Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing And Pulmonary Function Tests


Varun Agarwal

Updated on 16 May, 2023

Breathing is essential for life, but sometimes it can become difficult due to various respiratory diseases. If you feel pain in your chest, shortness of breath, or cough, it could be an indication of a respiratory problem. To diagnose such conditions, doctors may recommend pulmonary diagnostic testing, which includes pulmonary function tests (PFTs). In this blog, we will discuss pulmonary diagnostic testing and PFTs. 

What Is Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing?

Pulmonary diagnostic testing is a range of tests used to evaluate the function of the lungs and diagnose respiratory disorders. These tests may include imaging studies, blood tests, and pulmonary function tests (PFTs). These tests help the doctor to determine the extent and severity of respiratory problems and design an appropriate treatment plan.

What Is a Pulmonary Function Test?

Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are a series of tests used to evaluate lung function. These tests are conducted to measure the air-holding capacity of your lungs, how fast you can take air in and out of your lungs, and how well your lungs surpass oxygen to your body. PFTs can help diagnose respiratory disorders such as pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, and COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Types of Pulmonary Function Tests

Pulmonary function tests come in a variety of forms, including:-

  • Spirometry: Among pulmonary function tests, spirometry is the most popular. It measures how fast and how much you can inhale the air & exhale.
  • Lung Volume Measurement: This test measures the amount of air you can exhale after a deep breath and how much air your lungs can hold.
  • Diffusion Capacity Test: It measures how well oxygen and other gases move from your lungs into your bloodstream.
  • Exercise Testing: Exercise testing measures how well your lungs and heart function during physical activity.
  • Arterial Blood Gas Test: The results of this test reveal your blood levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Why Do You Need Pulmonary Function Tests?

Your doctor may recommend pulmonary function tests if you experience respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, or wheezing. PFTs can help diagnose respiratory disorders such as asthma, COPD, and pulmonary fibrosis. These tests can also help monitor the progression of respiratory disease and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

How to Prepare for Pulmonary Function Tests?

Before undergoing pulmonary function tests, you should inform the doctor about medications you are taking (if any), as some medications may affect the results of the tests. You should also avoid smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke for at least 24 hours before the test. You should avoid eating a heavy meal before the test, as a full stomach can interfere with breathing.

Where to Get Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing Done in Bangalore?

If you are looking for a diagnostic lab Bangalore that offers pulmonary function tests and other pulmonary diagnostic testing. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and experienced technicians who can perform the tests accurately and quickly. The lab also offers a wide range of other diagnostic tests for various health conditions. 

Difficulties Associated With Pulmonary Function Testing? 

Breathing difficulties

During pulmonary function testing, you will be asked to perform several breathing maneuvers, such as inhaling and exhaling forcefully. It may be challenging for people, especially those with respiratory problems, and can cause shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.


Hyperventilation is a condition that occurs when you breathe too quickly and exhale too much carbon dioxide. This can happen during PFTs, especially if you are anxious or nervous. Hyperventilation can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and tingling sensations in your fingers and around your mouth.


Bronchospasm is constriction of the muscles in the airways that can cause wheezing and difficulty breathing. This can be triggered by certain substances, such as allergens or irritants, or by the stress of the PFT itself. 


In rare cases, the pressure changes caused by PFTs can lead to nosebleeds. This is more likely to occur in people with pre-existing nasal or sinus problems.

How to Minimize the Difficulties of Pulmonary Function Testing? 

Fortunately, you can do many things you to minimize the risks associated with PFTs:

  1. Inform your doctor of any respiratory or cardiac conditions you have before the test.
  2. If you are taking any medications, ask your doctor if you should continue taking them before the test.
  3. Follow your doctor’s instructions for preparing for the test, such as medications before the test or avoiding certain food items.
  4. Try to stay calm and relaxed during the test to avoid hyperventilation or other breathing difficulties.
  5. If you experience any discomfort or breathing difficulties during the test, inform the technician immediately.

Pulmonary function testing is an important diagnostic tool that can help identify respiratory conditions and guide treatment decisions. However, it has some risks, just like any medical procedure. By understanding the potential risks and taking steps to minimize them, you can safely undergo PFTs and receive accurate and effective diagnosis and treatment.

Final Words!

Pulmonary diagnostic testing and pulmonary function tests are essential to diagnose and monitor respiratory diseases. If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, you should consult a doctor who may recommend pulmonary diagnostic testing. PFTs are an important component of pulmonary diagnostic testing, and there are several types of PFTs that can help diagnose respiratory disorders. Being in Bangalore, you may visit Lotus Diagnostic Centre for pulmonary diagnostic testing and other tests.

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