If you think you or your child could have asthma, it is likely that pulmonary function testing will be performed at your visit. Pulmonary function tests measure how well your lungs take in and exhale air. Other types can also measure how well the oxygen is transported into your bloodstream, your lung volumes, the effects of medication and how irritable your bronchial tubes are. These test results are very important for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. Spirometry is the most common type of pulmonary function testing.

What is Spirometry?

Spirometry tests are done with a special machine that you blow through called a spirometer. It measures how well your bronchial tubes are working and how obstructed they are. Spirometry tests are most commonly used to diagnose and manage asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other types of lung disorders.

What Can I Expect During My Spirometry Test

You will be coached thru a series of breathing in and out maneuvers that are recorded by the computer. A clip may be put on your nose to stop air from escaping. Oftentimes, the test is performed a few times to get the best reading. Be sure to listen and follow the instructions of the staff person performing your test.


Pulmonary function tests are the way we see how your lungs are functioning and if treatments are working. This is much like taking one’s blood pressure for hypertension. They are performed normally at the initial visit and then annually (or more often if needed). The Dakota Allergy & Asthma team will determine the best testing options to determine the cause of your symptoms and get you on track to feeling better.


There are many different types of asthma but no matter the trigger, any asthma attack can be scary. Many people find themselves wondering when to seek follow up care. In essence they wonder, “How bad does it have to get before I need to go in?” Dr. Bubak has developed this resource to help you determine when you should get follow up care for your asthma.

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