The purpose of a pulmonary function test is to determine if a patient has any restriction or obstruction to airflow in and out of the lungs. This test is done by blowing into a tube. Pulmonary function tests are often used in diagnosing asthma and other respiratory conditions and assessing the effectiveness of treatment.
A person should be tested for asthma if they have difficulty breathing during an allergy attack or any other time when their breathing is restricted. Individuals who have difficulty breathing and feel as if they are breathing through a pipe or are unable to expand their lungs to draw in a full breath may be experiencing an asthma attack. Providers can use a pulmonary function test to determine if a patient is breathing in sufficient amounts of air. Individuals who have frequent episodes of shortness of breath or recurrent wheezing may be tested for asthma to determine if that is the cause.
Asthma attacks can be triggered by several different things. Common triggers are allergies, viral infections, and exercise. For some, they can be triggered by high levels of stress and emotional upset. Exposure to strong odors or certain chemicals may also cause an asthma attack to occur. Individuals who have severe upper respiratory allergies or hay fever may also be prone to asthma attacks. Every person is different in how they respond to certain allergens and triggers. Individuals who have panic or anxiety disorders may also have asthma attacks that occur when anxiety levels begin to rise.
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