Lung function tests (also called pulmonary function tests) include a variety of tests that check how well the lungs work. The most basic test is spirometry. This test measures the amount of air the lungs can hold. The test also measures how forcefully one can empty air from the lungs.
Your doctor may order these tests:
- if you’re having symptoms of lung problems.
- if you’re regularly exposed to certain substances in the environment or workplace.
- to monitor the course of chronic lung disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- to assess how well your lungs are working before you have surgery.