31 East Darrah Lane
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

Pulmonary Function Test

Pulmonary function tests, PFTs, define the group of tests aimed at evaluating the level of functioning of the lungs. From assessing your breathing to confirming how effective your lungs are to bring oxygen to the rest of the body, these tests are important if your doctor needs:

  • To evaluate problems such as shortness of breath, chronic cough, or labored breathing.
  • To screen for obstructive or restrictive lung diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • To document how restrictive or obstructive lung diseases progress.
  • To assess the level of the lung functions before a surgery.
  • To document how effective a therapeutic intervention is.

Pulmonary function tests can diagnose and evaluate the following conditions:

  • Asthma.
  • COPD- emphysema or chronic bronchitis.
  • Allergies.
  • Lung fibrosis.
  • Bronchiectasis.
  • Asbestosis (a condition caused by exposure to asbestos).
  • Sarcoidosis (an inflammation of your lungs, liver, lymph nodes, eyes, skin, or other tissues).
  • Scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder that can affect the lungs).
  • Tumor of pulmonary origin.
  • Weaknesses of the chest wall muscles.

How to prepare for a pulmonary function test

The first thing to take into account is to avoid caffeine, in drinks of foods, as well as heavy meals before the test. It’s important not to smoke or exercise strenuously for at least six hours before the test begins. It’s advisable to wear loose clothing that won’t restrict your breathing, and dentures are permitted during the testing if they are normally worn.

The day of the PTF, do not forget to bring any breathing medicine that you usually take, as you may need your quick-relief inhaler during or after the test. The PFT can take from 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete.

During the Test

Please inform your test conductor right away if you feel any of the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness or a light-headed feeling.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nervousness or a feeling that your heart is racing.