Bronchodilator Reversibility Testing
What is a bronchodilator reversibility test?
This test is used to find out how
well your lungs are working.
This test is done with a spirometer
and a bronchodilator. A spirometer is a machine that measures lung function. It measures
how much and how fast air is blown out or exhaled. Bronchodilators are medicines that
open the airways, making it easier to breathe.
Why might I need a bronchodilator reversibility test?
This test is often used in people
who have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It may be done to
diagnose either condition.
How do I get ready for a bronchodilator reversibility test?
Before the test, you may be told
not to take your normal bronchodilator medicine. Make sure you follow the instructions
exactly as given.
What happens during a bronchodilator reversibility test?
This test is often done in your
healthcare provider's office. The testing often goes like this:
1. You will be asked to take a deep
breath and then blow into the spirometer as hard as you can. The spirometer records
results. This is called a baseline measurement.
2. You will be given a dose of
bronchodilator medicine. To do this, you will use an inhaler or nebulizer.
3. You will wait for about 15 minutes.
4. You will take a deep breath and
then blow into the spirometer as hard as you can. Again, it will record the results.
5. You will be asked to blow into
the spirometer more than once. This is done to get the best reading you can.
What happens after a bronchodilator reversibility test?
After this test, your healthcare
provider will make, confirm, or exclude a diagnosis of lung disease. He or she will
also use information from:
The results of this test may be
used to find out how severe your lung condition is. This can help your healthcare
provider choose the best treatment for you.