British Lung Foundation
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How useful are lung function tests??!!

Hi - Diagnosed with bronchiectasis in 2012. I have had several lung function tests at the local county hospital. My last one was yesterday. It, as usual, showed nothing particularly remarkable, with borderline results. However, I feel more and more breathless - especially when walking up inclines or stairs and bending over to put on shoes, brush teeth and hoover (something that occurs every two to three weeks), etc. Any helpful suggestions and all prayers and best wishes gratefully received.

With love to you all

swimmer

11 Replies
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I can’t remember when Pete last had a lung function test but his breathing is also worse. Can you speak to your doctor and explain how you are feeling? Thinking of you. Xxxx

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Thanks for your message. Am seeing GP next week, but am not holding out a lot of hope...

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Like yourself very breathless, teeth, stairs and eating as well for me. My recent lung function test was supra-normal, basically my result are too good for what's wrong with me if anyone could explain why we have supra- normal readings whilst being unable to breath that would be good.

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Yes, it's so frustrating. It feels like I'm carrying around a dead-weight which is blighting every minute of every day. Who would have thought those tiny bacteria could weigh so much....?

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Hi

Unfortunately lung function test, are done under fairly stable conditions.

And don’t truly measure the effects.

Climbing stairs and incline requires more effort then walking on the flat.

Bending flattens your diaphragm so compromising breathing.

Bathing whilst standing takes a lot of effort,

Hoovering can be a trigger.

Pulmonary rehabilitation will help with the exercise, slip on shoes or Velcro straps will help with the shoes.

A stool by in the bathroom will help with the bathing.

A hand held hoover with a sufficient hepa filter, is more suitable than a cumbersome corded device model.

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Hi

Have tried, and still try, all the advice you suggest. Not sure why the NHS do these tests if, and unless, they are useful. I would rather they spent our money on more holistic treatments rather than looking at one diagnostic tool, in isolation, and using the results from that to guide/inform on-going and preventative care.

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I'm having the same problem. I am more breathless, use oxygen 4l/min for exercise. I have bronchiectasis and obliterative bronchiolitis which causes fibrosis. I had lung function tests a month ago which were better than in October, but when I did 6 mwt with respiratory nurse at the local community hospital I was worse. I have never had any other exercise tests or arterial blood gases done. I am due to start pulmonary rehabilitation in September if my cardiologist allows it. I feel as though I don't know whether I am coming or going!

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Hi Carnival 567. Not sure about you, but I feel I am getting worse, not better, and it is really unhelpful if a diagnostic/monitoring test - such as the lung function one shows little or no deterioration. I just feel like screaming sometimes - just wish I had the energy to do so....

Thanks for understanding

swimmer

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I have had 12 spirometry pft tests since diagnosed in 2008. It has given me something to look back on to gauge progression. I was Fev1 @ 42% at diagnosis ten yrs ago. Now @ 25%. Pulmonologist recently said I’m at the top of stage 4. Pft tests can fluctuate depending on the effort put into them. I can’t say I’ve put the exact same effort blowing into all 12 of the tests. So I just take the results as perhaps a bit off. It’s just a one tool.

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Since my doctor, my respiratory nurse and I considered I was getting worse so don't understand any of it!

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I hope you are able to access the pulmonary rehab as I have heard, from others, that it has helped them considerably.

With very best wishes

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