A Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) is actually a series of tests which is performed to determine or know the condition of the lungs. WE all breathe in and breathe out with the help of nostrils but the lungs are not only an indispensable organ of the respiratory system but the entire human body. The doctors can actually find out how well the lungs are functioning in taking and exhaling the air. The test can also determine whether or not the lung is affected from some disease by examining how much air it can withhold and how quickly it releases the air out through the nose.
How the test is performed
The test is performed in a very simplified manner. You have to only visit the doctor's chamber at the appointed time. It is a completely non-invasive test. The patient has to remain standing or in a sitting position and he is asked to breathe into a mouthpiece which is attached to a spirometer. It is actually an instrument which records the amount of air that has been inhaled and the amount of air that has been exhaled over a short span of time about some few minutes. A clip is also attached to the nose so that the recordings are accurate. It consists of a series which involves normal, quiet breathing, as well as doctor orchestrated breathing involving holding air in and pushing out all the air from the lungs.
It might have some side effects which depend from person to another. Some people may experience lightheadedness or shortness of breath. However, it will disappear once the test is over.
Preparations before the test
The person who is going for the Pulmonary Function Test in Kolkata should take some precautions in advance in order to get the best results. He should avoid taking a heavy meal. This will increase the metabolism of the digestive system. If you are addicted to smoking do not smoke for about four to six hours before the test. It brings accuracy in the recordings. If someone is using an inhaler he should consult the doctor whether to discontinue it before the test. If the person was infected from some infections like flu, bronchitis, respiratory or ear infections in the recent past, he should ask the doctor whether to go for the test or not.
The final outcome of the PFT test is measured according to the age, height, ethnicity as well as sex of the person. Actually the test determines two major kinds of lung diseases; when the organ holds too much air and the breathing out process is very slow. It can be due to a number of reasons such as emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis and other lung infections. It is known as obstructive lung disorder. On the other hand, the lungs may contain very little air which makes it difficult to transfer oxygen to the blood. It is a more serious issue which results in diseases like overweight, fibrosis of the lungs and lung cancer. The doctor will view the report of the test and decide the further course of treatment based on the severity of the case.
The author is a general physician who conducts the Pulmonary Function Test in Kolkata from time to time so that the actual condition of the lungs can be determined.