Pulmonary Function Testing

Board Certified Pulmonologists & Board Certified Sleep Medicine Physicians located in Joliet and New Lenox, IL

Pulmonary Function Testing

About Pulmonary Function Testing

If you struggle to breathe deeply or get enough oxygen, pulmonary treatments offer relief. At Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. in Joliet and New Lenox, Illinois, the board-certified pulmonologists offer pulmonary function testing to adults of all ages to screen for lung and breathing problems. Schedule an evaluation by phone or request one online today to learn more. 

Pulmonary Function Testing Q & A

What is pulmonary function testing?

Pulmonary function testing involves diagnostic procedures that evaluate lung function or your ability to breathe effectively. Such tests measure lung capacity, volume, gas exchange, and flow rates, which help your pulmonologist diagnose and treat lung disorders.

Which conditions can pulmonary function testing diagnose?

Pulmonary function testing can detect or rule out the following conditions that affect your lungs:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Respiratory infections
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema 
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pleural disease
  • Asbestosis (disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers)
  • Sarcoidosis (inflammatory lung disease)
  • Scleroderma (thickening of connective tissues)
  • Restricted airway

Airway restriction may develop due to tumors, lung scarring, inflammation, scoliosis, or other conditions. 

You might be at risk of lung disease due to your work environment, toxin exposure, genetic factors, cigarette smoking, or unhealthy lifestyle habits. 

Which pulmonary function tests are available?

Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. offers various pulmonary function tests, including:

  • Functional residual capacity (FRC): measures air left in your lungs after a normal exhale
  • Residual volume: measures air left in your lungs after exhaling as much as possible
  • Tidal volume: measures air inhaled or exhaled during typical breathing
  • Minute volume: measures the amount of air exhaled each minute
  • Vital capacity (VC): air volume exhaled after inhaling as much as possible
  • Total lung capacity: total volume of the lungs
  • Forced vital capacity (FVC): amount of air exhaled quickly and forcefully
  • Peak exploratory flow rate (PEFR): fastest rate of forced air out of the lungs
  • Methacholine challenge test (bronchoprovocation test): measures lung responsiveness 


The type of test that’s the most beneficial for you depends on your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle.

What can I expect during pulmonary function testing?

Your specialist compares your lung function testing results to your previous results or the average person of the same sex, height, race, and age.

You might breathe into a mouthpiece hooked up to a machine or breathe inside of an air-tight box when completing lung function tests. 

Inhale or exhale in various ways based on your provider’s instructions. You might use an inhaled bronchodilator or a medication called methacholine before repeating specific lung function tests.

After you complete testing, your pulmonologist discusses the results and determines if you’re a candidate for medications, an inhaler, oxygen therapy, breathing devices, pulmonary rehabilitation, surgery, or other treatments for lung issues.

Schedule an evaluation at Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. by phone or connect online today to determine if lung function testing is right for you.