Childhood is meant to be an active time of running around with friends, playing up sports, and making up games with the neighbors. If you notice your child is slowing down or turning down invitations because they are out of breath, then it may be time to talk to your pediatrician about asthma or other lung conditions!
If your child is diagnosed with a chronic lung condition, then we may recommend spirometry. Spirometry gives us an opportunity to measure your child’s lung function conveniently in office with a simple test we can typically complete in about 15 minutes. With the results, we can spot signs of restricted breathing or obstruction and use that information to craft an individualized treatment plan. Our goal at Pediatric Associates of Northern Colorado is always to give your family the best possible service so your kids can feel better faster, and offering spirometry is one more way we can do that.
How to Prepare
There are a few things you and your child can do to prepare for the spirometry test. First, ask about any breathing medications your child is currently using and if they should avoid using them beforehand. You should also make sure to set your child up for success in breathing in and out as deeply as they can, so avoid large meals beforehand and encourage them to pick out loose-fitting clothing to wear. The Pediatric Associates team will give you more specific instructions to ensure you’re ready!
During the test, your child will be asked to breathe into a tube, which is attached to a machine called a spirometer. They will have their nostrils clipped shut, which may be uncomfortable in the moment, so you may want to let them know what to expect beforehand.
A nurse, doctor, or technician will be there to give your child instructions throughout the process. First, they should start with a deep breath and seal their lips around the tube to ensure no air escapes. Then, your child will be asked to breathe out as hard as they can for several seconds. In many cases, we will repeat the test about three times to ensure consistent and accurate results.
The test does require some exertion, so your child may feel short of breath or dizzy for a minute or two afterwards. We will be there to ensure they feel safe and comfortable! Spirometry is incredibly safe, and the test very rarely triggers any breathing problems.
Spirometry gathers a couple metrics. One, forced vital capacity (FVC), measures the largest amount of air your child can exhale. A low FVC measurement can indicate restricted breathing. The test also measures forced expiratory volume (FEV), which is how much air your child can exhale in one second. Their FEV-1 score indicates the severity of their breathing problem, and a low measurement can mean they are experiencing significant obstruction.
Using these results, your child’s pediatric team can reach a better understanding of their lung condition. We will incorporate these results into your overall asthma follow-up appointment so our team can best advice you on what you can do moving forward to keep your child happy and healthy.
Make Your Appointment at Pediatric Associates Today
Has your little been diagnosed with childhood asthma or another lung condition? Spirometry may be a part of their follow-up appointment. Contact Pediatric Associates of Northern Colorado today to learn more!