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Bad at spirometry tests!

Am I the only person who seems to be rubbish at doing these, so much so that they get freaky results and have to go back and even then get 'variable' ones which cons decides to ignore because she's decided it's just me being rubbish at doing tests?

Was fine on the first set I took last year but these ones have not been consistent at all - find them very hard (breathing-wise) and get silly results which make no sense (had to go back as first ones couldn't be used). It's actually very embarrassing given all the singing I do, you would think I would be really good at it but no! The physiologist was very good on my second set this time and really made an effort to get some proper results out of me - not sure if it worked though!

Have sort of given up on PF as well as it makes no sense - don't seem to be very good at that either and either get massively variable blows (me being rubbish again) or 540 ALL the time (best is above 600 but have not got to 600 for a while, fairly close sometimes though - should say I don't measure regularly but every time I do this is what happens).

Not sure I understand this or that anyone else will but was hoping I'm not the only one.

5 Replies

I'm rubbish at peak flow but my spirometry technique is awesome (even if i do say so myself :p) i often get all 3 results with 2% of each other!!

I would ask for a nose clip for starters and then don't think about it/the results too much. Literally just fill up your lungs and pretend to blow out birthday balloons! Also don't look at the graph on screen as that can be quite annoying. You could also ask if they'd put up a kids screen where you have to blow a hot air balloon/bubblegum/blow bubbles in milkshake or blow out candles as they make it easier!

Always worth a try??


Within 2%? Wow. I can't remember what my first set was but the numbers were all over the place. I did get a nose clip and the physiologist was great at getting me to do it until he was reasonably satisfied it made sense but apparently still variable.

If I ever have them again may have to ask for the kid's one lol - how embarrassing! But doesn't seem like I will judging on what cons has said (she just said variable but doesn't think it means anything, no evidence of reversibility though as Ventolin does nothing for me I should have expected it - so we're back to 'dysfunctional breathing').

So less worried about doing them in the future than generally wondering why I am so awful at them and if anyone else has found the same - I'm pretty sure I was better the first time I had spirometry, but any technique seems to have gone to pot since then.


I think it's practice makes perfect, when you do 3blows 4-6 times a day for like a month then it becomes second nature!!!


I'm impressed at the within 2%! I've never managed to meet the criteria for a good spirometry, even last time I was at the hospital and blew my best ever FEV1. I think all have to be within 5% which I never manage, as the first one causes asthma symptoms. They just tend to accept my results after 4 or 5 goes as they just become more variable, but they've said this is an indication of my asthma which is really variable.


Hmm, now wondering what cons meant when she said mine were variable but she doesn't think that means anything! I guess there are ways and ways of being variable which mean different things (or nothing at all), but it was the only set of tests I've had which seemed to offer any sort of clue so was a bit taken aback when she said it didn't mean anything and I was fine!

Guess I'm just a little frustrated - maybe the physio will work this time, if I ever manage to actually get hold of them for an appt.


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