When you have concerns about how well your child is breathing, it’s important to figure out what’s causing their breathing difficulties and get treatment as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to learn more about how your child’s lungs are working is with a lung functioning test.
As pediatric care specialists in Victorville, California, Rainilda Valencia, MD, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, use lung function tests as an important diagnostic tool at Valencia Pediatrics. Here’s what you can expect when your child needs a lung function test.
About lung function tests
A lung function test, which is sometimes also called a pulmonary function test, is a tool that measures how well your child’s lungs are working. Lung function tests measure various lung capacities, including your child’s ability to take in a volume of air, their lung capacity, and exhalation capacity.
Most commonly, our team uses lung function tests to diagnose and monitor children with asthma, but we can also use them to assess other conditions, including cystic fibrosis and chronic lung disease.
How a lung function test works
A lung function test is a quick, painless, in-office procedure our team performs at Valencia Pediatrics. We usually recommend a lung function test if you suspect your child has asthma or want to check how your child is responding to asthma treatment.
There are several different lung function tests we use to monitor your child.
This is the most common lung function test and one we use to diagnose asthma. During this test, your child takes a deep breath, then exhales into a spirometer.
This test shows the expiratory volume in your child’s lungs. We might perform it before and after your child takes an asthma medication to see if the medication is helping their breathing.
Peak flow meter
During a peak flow meter test, our providers hold a small device and have your child blow into it. This device also measures your child’s lung exhalation volume capacity.
A FeNo (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) test checks the level of inflammation present in your child’s lungs. Like a peak flow meter test, this test involves your child blowing into a small, handheld device.
Getting your child ready for a lung function test
Before a lung functioning test, you can prepare your child by letting them know they’ll use their maximum effort to breathe in and out, but the test won’t be painful or invasive. Before the test day, continue using all of your child’s medications unless we instruct you otherwise.
Your child should wear comfortable, relaxed clothing for the lung function test and avoid eating a big meal beforehand. Throughout the test, our team ensures your child is comfortable and encourages them to let us know if they feel dizzy from breathing hard or are experiencing any other difficulties.
Our team might repeat the lung function test several times to ensure accurate results. After getting results, we make recommendations for beginning, continuing, or changing your child’s treatment.
Lung function tests are a simple and noninvasive way to check that your child is breathing fully and well. If you have concerns your child might have asthma or other breathing difficulties, contact us today by calling 442-204-0019 to schedule an appointment.