Pulmonary Function Test

Pulmonary function tests, or lung tests, check how well your lungs are working.  They check for lung disease, lung problems and how well a treatment is working.

What are pulmonary function tests?

Pulmonary function tests measure how much air your lungs can hold, and how air moves in and out of your lungs. At MaineHealth, you provider may offer a variety of pulmonary tests to check how well your lungs function. There are two types of tests:

  • Spirometry measures how quickly air moves in and out of your lungs.
  • Plethysmography checks lung volume, and involves sitting or standing in an airtight booth. Patients breathe in and out of a mouthpiece.

Reasons for a pulmonary test

Sometimes pulmonary tests are done as part of a routine physical exam.  They are also done if your healthcare provider is trying to diagnose a breathing problem that includes:

  • Chronic lung conditions like asthma, bronchitis or emphysema

  • Allergies

  • Infections in the lungs

  • Asbestosis