Breathing Test

If you are having some serious respiratory problems and you have any doubt about the extent of your respiratory problems, then you must know that there are a number of breathing tests available to check lung related problems. All these tests are performed to examine common lungs’ functions, like the amount of air you inhale and exhale out of lungs. These breathing tests are used to get an idea of the amount oxygen added by the lungs into your blood. Therefore, you can say that breathings tests are mainly lung functions tests, as they are performed to test functions of the lungs.

Main Objectives of Breathing Tests

  • How fast you can inhale in and exhale out the air from the lungs
  • What amount of air can patient is a lung hold
  • Ease with which, lungs can pump oxygen into your blood
  • Ease with which, lungs can remove carbon dioxide from your blood
  • The amount of air you can exhale out of the lungs
  • Your breathing muscles’ strength

List of Some Commonly Performed Breathing Tests

  • Spirometry
  • Gas Diffusion Test
  • Body Plethysmography
  • Inhalation Challenge Test
  • Exercise Stress Test

These breathing tests are explained below:


The most commonly used breathing test is spirometry. This test is done to measure  how much air you can exhale out from the lungs. This breathing test also determines the speed with which your lungs exhale out the air. A mouthpiece is given to you to breathe in. In addition, this mouthpiece is attached to the spirometer, which records all the information about your lungs’ functions.

Gas Diffusion Test

To measure the exact amount of air exchanged by air sacs (alveoli) of your lungs per minute, gas diffusion test is performed.

Body Plethysmography

Body plethysmography is done to know the total volume of air that you can hold in your lungs, which is known as total lungs capacity (TLC).

This breathing test is done to measure the volume of air left in lungs after completely exhaling air out of lungs, which is called residual volume (RV).

Inhalation Challenge Test

They have you inhale the substances that may cause wheezing or asthma during this breathing test to know the response of your airway to that particular substance.

Exercise Stress Test

As clear from the name, exercise stress test is done to determine the effects of a particular exercise on a patient’s lungs. When this breathing test is performed, spirometry readings are taken immediately after the exercise and then after some rest.

Therefore, the above listed breathing tests may give you the proper information about the functioning of your lungs and the extent of your respiratory problem.

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