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British Lung Foundation
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What next?

Just back from yearly spirometry test with nurse...

I normally take my meds before I attend these,but my nurse asked that I didn't this time if possible.and I never took them.

My readings are down 10% on last year.last year 52%.today 49%

So I have to have chest X-ray.

Also being referred to pulmonary rehab again.

And I have to see respiratory nurse..

Surely not taking my meds beforehand would have an impact on my readings? Maybe not 10% worth,but something.

What do my friends on here think?

I'm so worried now...

14 Replies

Bronchodilator could easily affect Fev1 by 10%... but 52 to 49 is 5.7%.. not even 10! Maybe she needs to brush up her maths? A warm afternoon on an empty stomach vs cold morning after a full English can get that difference..

Best wishes



Taking meds before the test would give a misleading reading, because your airways would be opened to the maximum.

Where as you condition restricts the airways which will give a better reading as to how you are affected.

If your condition was reversible they can ask you to take your meds after and do a second test.

Considering it is recommended to have three test, taken the best result, I would not worry to much about the numbers.

Over three years I have been 24/27/22 next test due October.


Silly for me to say don't worry when you've posted because you 're very worried. Is she a specialist nurse? You'd normally get fluctuations of this amount, especially if you haven't taken bronchodilators. From where I'm sitting it's a very good reading! A chest x-Ray isn't going to add much information, is it? And it may be different where you live but here only a consultant can now refer to rehab.

Until you're told anything more try to take some deep breaths and give yourself a treat. A cream bun shaped one would be good.

Be well,

Sue xxx


Hi watfordgirl.

No,she's the nurse at my gp's practice.

I'm worried sick by this news.

I'm thinking all sorts.

I'm sure I'm worrying needlessly.....I hope so anyway.

I already treated myself to chocolate fudge cake and custard....



That's it girl..., add 20 or 30 lbs..., it oughtta make things go so much more 'swimmingly'...


I've just looked at your previous posts and I'd have thought 49 percent for stage 4 is good. And I don't want to undermine your confidence but the practice nurse has changed your inhalers etc. does she have any training? Could you see your GP? Or perhaps do nothing and see what pops up or otherwise - as long as you can do that without worrying too much.

You don't say how you feel at the moment, or what your breathlessness is like? I hope things aren't too bad. Take care. S x


I have no idea what training is given to practice nurses....

I'm not too bad at the mo.i went to see her 2 weeks ago as I was becoming increasingly breathless,she gave me the appointment for today's spirometry,that was all.

But last week I was able to mow the lawn for the first time in months,felt great.

I can't walk very far at all.thats my main concern.

Hoping rehab will help me.

Thanks for your help.its reassuring.


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Reply to your reply - don't know where to put it. If it was me, I'd go to talk it through with my GP and buy further supplies of chocolate fudge cake and custard on the way home.

Let us know what happens. xxx


Rehab will help lots with the walking. It's scary how quickly you lose it if you don't use it.

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I wouldn't worry to much if you had it done tomorrow it could go back up a little mine have been up and down , plus last time you had your inhaler so they should have been a little higher too . try not to worry to much about the numbers go by how you feel some times I have felt better when the number have been lower than when they have been higher


When I used to have my tests done at the doctors I was always given an early morning app and told NOT to take my meds but to take them with me. After the first lot of breathing into machine I had to take my meds then go and sit in the waiting room for twenty minutes. The tests would then be done over again. My consultant told me not to worry over the readings as they can vary from day to day.

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Soulsaver is right, that is not a 10% difference. Your reading would have better, had you taken your inhalers.

My nurse told me that they allow a 10% difference. Don't worry about it, it's too small a difference xx

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Now I am confused. My GP practice always says on paperwork inviting you to your annual test to take all medicines before hand and to take Ventolin 30 minutes before hand. Are they wrong then?


I think different docs/areas must do it differently.

What's the point in taking your meds beforehand? It won't be a true reading.thats what I've been told anyway.



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