Lung health tests

Find out how lung health tests, which your doctor might call lung function tests (LFTs) or pulmonary function tests (PFTs), are used to assess and monitor your lungs.

2 min read

Female doctor checking heart rate of a female patient

Looking at: 

How well your lungs are working (how much air you can breathe in and out, how well, and how much oxygen gets from your lungs into your body).

What to expect: 

There are a few different types of lung function tests. These sometimes involve breathing into tubes in certain ways. The doctor may also listen to the sound inside your lungs.

Common tests you might be asked to take include:1

  • Woman taking lung volume test
    Spirometry and lung volume tests measure the capacity and flow of air into the lungs.
  • Patient receiving pulse oximetry test
    Pulse oximetry, the carbon monoxide diffusion test, and capillary blood sampling are three different measures that show how effectively the air reaches the blood.

Most tests will be conducted at a specialist lung clinic, but some can be done at your managing doctor's office.

Did you know?

Pulse oximetry shows you the percentage of oxygen in your blood. Normal blood oxygen saturation is around 94-99% in healthy people.2

Understanding your results: 

This varies depending on the test. Your doctor will monitor any changes over time.