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Breathing Test | Lung Function Test | Spirometry | Prof Dan Chambers

Lung function testing

Our highly skilled technicians perform all aspects of lung function testing, including spirometry, bronchodilator reversibility testing, plethysmography, rhinometry and diffusing capacity measurement.


Lung function tests are essential to help diagnose lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and interstitial lung disease. Wallace Street Specialist Centre offers the full range of lung function testing performed by our expert staff in our specially equipped laboratory.

Spirometry is the most important lung function test and measures the maximum amount of air you are able to breath in and out. You will be asked to do this test slowly and fast and it is normal to feel a little light-headed afterwards. Sometimes after spirometry we will give you ventolin and repeat the tests to see if this improves your results.

Depending on what the problem is, you may also need to undergo body plethysmography and/or a gas transfer test. Body plethysmography involves sitting inside a closed glass box, like a telephone box, and measures the total volume of your lungs. The gas transfer test measures the amount of oxygen that transfers from you lungs into your blood. During this test you will be asked to take a deep breath and hold your breath for about 8 seconds and then breathe out. For all tests you be asked to wear a soft noseclip and breathe on a mouthpiece. All tests will be repeated several times.

How long will my tests take?

The time to complete the tests will vary depending on which tests you are having but most take about 45 minutes.

Is there anything I need to do before I attend for my lung function test?

Before having your lung function tests please refrain from:

  • smoking 4hrs prior to your tests

  • exercising in the 30mins prior to your tests.

If you regularly use inhalers (eg ventolin) you may be asked to refrain from using them on the day of your tests. If you cannot manage without your inhaler(s) - that's OK - please take your usual medication, but keep a note of the time it was taken.

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