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Old 06-19-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
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What does a spirometer measure

I went to my doctor yesterday and my siprometry was only 23%. They gave me a treatment and re did the test and it was still 23%. What exactly does this test measure? My doc was not happy with this percentage, this is the lowest it has ever been usually it's in the 50-55% range.


Thanks for your help

 
Old 06-19-2008, 07:49 PM   #2
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Re: What does a spirometer measure

Spirometry measures the amount of air that you can inhale and exhale which helps the doctor understand how well your lungs are functioning. The percentage he mentions is probably the FEV1% which compares the amount you're able to exhale in 1 second to the total amount you're able to exhale.

The normal percentage for FEV1 is usually around 75% - 80% (meaning that you can force out about 75% of the total amount of air in your lungs in 1 second).

 
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: What does a spirometer measure

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcsmithjr View Post
Spirometry measures the amount of air that you can inhale and exhale which helps the doctor understand how well your lungs are functioning. The percentage he mentions is probably the FEV1% which compares the amount you're able to exhale in 1 second to the total amount you're able to exhale.

The normal percentage for FEV1 is usually around 75% - 80% (meaning that you can force out about 75% of the total amount of air in your lungs in 1 second).
Thank you for explaining what the measurement means. So what do you do if the number is way below what it should be? I have an appointment with a pulmologist on Monday.. I thought the doc I was going to was a pulmologist but he is strictly an allergist although he does deal with asthma. Is thee anything I should specifically ask him? I am really concerned that the test was so low.

Thank you everyone for all of your help

 
Old 06-20-2008, 03:59 AM   #4
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Re: What does a spirometer measure

The pulmonologist will certainly re-run the test but you should tell him/her about the results and that you're concerned. In all likelihood the pulmonologist will adjust your medications to try to get that number back up to the normal range.

 
Old 06-20-2008, 05:59 PM   #5
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Re: What does a spirometer measure

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcsmithjr View Post
The pulmonologist will certainly re-run the test but you should tell him/her about the results and that you're concerned. In all likelihood the pulmonologist will adjust your medications to try to get that number back up to the normal range.
Thank you for your help. I wil definitely bring this to his attention. I am very concerned about it but the problem is I am on every med I can be on other than Pred and am still having difficulty. Every time I am off Pred I end up having difficulty again. I don;t want to be steroid dependent but then again I want to be able to breathe. My regular doc even put me on theophylline which I understand is not used much any more that it's an older drug. I am willing though to try anything to make this better so I can live a normal life.

 
Old 06-21-2008, 04:29 AM   #6
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Re: What does a spirometer measure

Being on "every" med isn't always the best solution - hopefully the pulmonologist will be able to find the mix and dosage of medications that works best for you. Some people react differently to different medications that are very similar - Flovent works really well for some people but Pulmicort works better for others - you really have to work with the doctor to find the right mix for managing your asthma. Good luck, hope the doc is able to help you sort things out.

Last edited by gcsjr; 06-21-2008 at 04:29 AM. Reason: Incomplete

 
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