Spirometry test

Hi all, hope you are all breathing ok. Joined last month when told I had moderate emphysema after a CT with contrast. Yesterday I had Spirometry test and nurse told me at the end that my lung function was at normal level which has rather confused me when I am struggling with going upstairs, shopping and even hanging washing out. Does anyone else get normal level on test and have these problems? Got appt with GP on Monday. xx

12 Replies

Could you give us a few more details? History, lung damage, infections, response to medication,etc. Do you know what showed on the scan? Was it airtrapping? Sorry about the interrogation, but my ears always prick up when I read here about anomalies. Don't let your GP get away with bland reassurances. I suppose the reason that I am concerned is that my Spirometry and PFT results do not look too bad but my symptoms are severe.

If you are not satisfied with the consultation push for more information and, if necessary, more tests. If there is air trapping then it will show on PFT but not Spirometry.

Good luck for Monday and let us know how it goes.

Hi katinka,

I had a bad cold at endof February which turned I to a chest infection and had to have two lots of antibiotics. Went back to docs cause I was getting pains in ribs and was then diagnosed with pluerisy. Itwas then that a chest x-ray was orderend then the Ct scan. Chest x-ray had showed a small shadow, but it had gone by the time of ct scan, but GP said I had moderate emphysema, to pack in smoking and that it was progressive, but controllable. I have a Ventolin inhaler and Naproxen for pain. It was first time for a chest infection and the pleurisy. Don't know what showed on the scan. xx

By the way what's PFT? Lol

PFT is a pulmonary function test. It is like Spirometry but with knobs on. The second part of the test looks at gas exchange and the third part measures lung volumes. The lung volume part of the test shows air-trapping.

Let us know what comes out of the GP appt.


I will. Thank you for your response. Jan xxx

It could just be that you are out of shape. Even before I had copd I used to get out of breath due to lack of exercise. But that's good news about your lung function. 👍

Hi Hayley, you could be right about the exercise. But I keep getting a pain in my ribs on the right hand side when trying to hang out washing or carrying a couple of bags of shopping which I had no problem doing six months ago. Its so frustrating at times. Jan x

You can have normal Spirometry and still have breathlessness if for example your gas transfer levels are abnormal. Ask if this test was done. If could shed some light on whats going on.

Thank you Zorro, I will ask on Monday. Jan x

All the best x

COPD affects us all in different ways. Unlike you I do not get short of breath nor have a cough or produce sputum. But they tell me From various tests I am on the low end of being moderate as others have advised to back to your GP for an explanation of your results. At the same time ask for pulmonary rehabilitation. Your shortness of breath may be due to having a low heamoglobin (hb) level which could explain why you are normal on Spirometry but get short of breath. With COPD people always look to the lungs but there are other conditions which can affect your ability to breath. You need to discuss with your Doctor.

Thank you Badbessie, I only get out of breath going upstairs, rarely cough now the pleurisy and chest infection have gone. Will see what GP says on Monday. Jan xxx

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