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Spirometry is a simple test which is used to measure the lung performance based on the amount of air an individual can breathe.

 

Just as you would service your car, it’s important to keep an eye on your health stats, particularly since the COVID-19 Pandemic, and even more so for people with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

It is considered a vital sign of overall health just as heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, weight, SpO2 and respiratory rate.

 

Taking the Test

Performing a Spirometry Test is simple, despite its importance.  The patient must inhale deeply and immediately exhale as fast as they can, pushing the air out with force into the mouthpiece of the Spirometer.

The Digital Impression of Your Lungs

The test results will reveal a “sail-like” curve called a Flow/Volume Curve that plots the velocity of exhalation against the volume of exhaled air.

This curve is then plotted and compared to a theoretically “normal” curve obtained from the values measured in a population of healthy subjects with equal height, weight, ethnicity, sex and age. Consequently, the Flow/Volume Curve is like a unique “fingerprint” or digital impression of the patient’s lungs and can provide a simple, accurate and highly predictive actual and future assessment of their lung function.  It is particularly important for people with or at risk of COPD and other such respiratory disorders.

How Old Are Your Lungs?

A Spirometry Test will also tell us how “aged” the lungs are using simple measurements which, compared with the theoretical normality of a population with the same characteristics as the patient, giving you a “lung age”.  The lung age is a way of making the spirometry results more comprehensible to the patient by comparing the lung age with the patient’s actual age.

In most cases, a healthy patient should see a lung age which corresponds to their true age.  However, a person who is exposed to risk factors such as smoking, respiratory diseases and other factors will see a lung age much higher than their true age, giving an alert as to how compromised the lungs are.

Know Your Numbers

Whilst most of us may know what our normal weight, blood pressure, heart rate and maybe even our blood oxygen levels since the pandemic, not many people will know their lung age unless they have visited their GP with a breathing or chest issue.

During the time of overworked GPs, time-poor working population and more focus on our own healthcare at home than ever before, it’s unlikely many of us will go to the GP for a routine check-up.  This is why we’ve brought to market a range of affordable spirometers for both personal and professional use, so we can collectively look after ourselves, our loved ones and our patients in the knowledge that we get to know what’s “normal” for us and can easily detect any changes which can be shared with a professional or a specialist.