When you have asthma, it’s important to understand how well your lungs are functioning because this will guide your treatment plan. The following tests will help you and your doctor make this assessment.
- Pulmonary Function Test or PFT – The pulmonary function test, which involves you blowing out air, is typically given to you by your physician once every six months to a year. The purpose? To guide whether an asthma diagnosis is made and, if so, to suggest what kind of treatment you need at this time.
- Peak flow measurements – The peak flow meter can be used in addition to the PFT to measure your lung health on a more regular basis. The peak flow meter is convenient and helpful for people who have trouble assessing the state of their asthma at a given time: it is lightweight and affordable and can be used any time, no doctor needed.
In order to manage your asthma, it’s critical that you and your doctor understand how your lungs are doing. When combined with your own observations, these tests (and others, like the pulse oximeter and the eNO test) will provide a complete picture of your lung health.