Spirometry: a test to guide COPD treatment

A patient blows into a breathing machine.

A spirometry test often is the first and most common test used to check lung capacity. It measures how much and how quickly you can move air out of your lungs.1

If you’re dealing with diminished lung capacity due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), your daily struggle to breathe can interfere with the things you like to do most. A spirometry test may help evaluate your lung function so you can determine your treatment options, such as pulmonary rehabilitation.

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How is a spirometry test done?

When you take a spirometry test, you breathe into the mouthpiece of a recording device called a spirometer.1 The readings from this test help your doctor determine if you may have COPD and evaluate the severity of the disease if you do.

Find out if your breathing issues could be a sign of COPD.

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What you should expect

During your appointment, the doctor will take your medical history and record your current activities along with any possible challenges. Depending on the results of the spirometry test, the doctor may order a chest X-ray to rule out other conditions.1

Why a spirometry test matters

If you have COPD, you cannot undo the damage to your lungs. But you may slow down the progression of the damage and improve the quality of your everyday life.1 If you struggle with breathing daily, a spirometry test may help you better understand what’s going on and find relief.

Talk to your doctor about the benefits of a spirometry.

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MyHealth can help

The MyHealth section on MyHumana can help Humana members manage their health and get the most from their benefits.

Visit MyHealth to view details about types of screenings, get important reminders, and explore available plan benefits, such as exercise classes and health coaching. You’ll also find articles and resources on health topics.

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  1. “Pulmonary Function Tests,” WebMD, last accessed December 23, 2020, http://www.webmd.com/lung/lung-function-tests#1 , opens new window