Pulmonary Test Analyzer: Decode Your Results


"The purpose of this tool is to help you understand the results of lung function tests your doctor may have ordered. With this information, you should be able to ask your doctor questions about the results during your healthcare appointment." – Sanja Jelic, MD, Medical Expert Board Member, Verywell

About Pulmonary Testing

If you've been experiencing dyspnea (shortness of breath)—or if you have any other symptoms or signs of breathing difficulties—your doctor may order pulmonary testing.

Pulmonary testing can be extremely helpful in diagnosing various kinds of lung and airway diseases, as well as neuromuscular problems that may contribute to breathing problems.

There are three basic kinds of pulmonary testing: spirometry, which measures the flow and volume of air you can move while breathing; lung volume tests, which measure various aspects of your lung capacity; and the diffusing capacity test, which measures the ability of your lung tissue to exchange gasses with your bloodstream.

Spirometry, the most common kind of pulmonary testing, is often done as part of a routine physical examination. Lung volume tests and diffusing capacity tests are specialized studies and are usually performed only if the spirometry results are abnormal, or if the doctor suspects that a lung or breathing disorder may be present.

Helpful Resources

If your pulmonary test results are outside the optimal range that your doctor determined for you—or if you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, asthma, bronchiectasis, or another lung and airway disease—Verywell offers free resources to help you better understand and manage your condition.

We want to help ensure you have productive and empowering discussions with your physicians.

Explore the following article and downloads to learn more:

Frequently Asked Questions

What information do I need in order to get my pulmonary test analysis?

All you need is the name of the test and the test value, as listed as a "percent of predicted value" on your pulmonary test results report that you receive from your doctor. You’ll need to provide both pieces of information to receive an analysis.

All test values should be numerical values—no need to add units, we’ll add those for you!

Which pulmonary tests can be analyzed?

Our tool can analyze results from these common pulmonary function tests:

    You can analyze one test at a time. Your doctor is the best person to analyze your results as a whole—this tool is meant for informational purposes only.

    Where can I find my pulmonary test results or lab report?

    In most cases, your test results should be available immediately. You can obtain a copy from your doctor’s office, either during a visit or by calling in.

    Your doctor will have the results even if the tests were performed outside of their office. They will likely call or schedule an appointment to review them with you. You can use this tool before or after your discussion to learn more about the different tests and results.

    Some labs and offices also offer online patient portals where you can view your results without having to call in. Select the name of the test, as indicated on your report, and enter it into the analyzer, along with your listed numerical value, to receive an analysis.

    Note that the reference ranges used in the analyzer are meant to represent typical ranges. You should consult with your doctor about the ranges they use when interpreting your test results.

    What information will I receive from the tool?

    Once you enter your information, the pulmonary function test analyzer will tell you if your result is low, optimal, or high and what that might mean. You’ll also learn a little bit about the test, why it’s done, and what it measures.

    How were the results analyzed?

    Your results analysis was completed by a board-certified physician. Optimal range values and interpretations are in line with leading pulmonary function authorities.

    Remember, however, that this analysis is for informational purposes only. You should use it as a starting point or to further understand what you have already discussed with your doctor. It is not a replacement for a professional medical visit.

    Your doctor is the best person to take a holistic look at you and your medical history. They can provide you with the most customized, accurate interpretation and next steps to follow.

    Who else can see my lab results or personal analysis?

    We take online privacy very seriously, especially when it comes to individual and personalized health information.

    We do not track which lab tests you analyze and we do not store any lab values you enter. You are the only one who can see your analysis. Also, you will not be able to return to your results, so if you would like to save them it is best to print them.

    Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

    Can this tool diagnose me with a lung condition?

    This tool does not provide medical advice or diagnosis. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultations, diagnosis, or treatment.

    What should I do with the analysis?

    You should use the analysis to empower yourself and learn more about your results, but not to diagnose yourself with a lung or airway condition, such as COPD, asthma, or bronchiectasis. Proper diagnosis and treatment require a holistic look at your previous medical history, symptoms, lifestyle, and more. Your doctor is the best person to do this.

    You can use this information to inspire questions or use it as a starting point for a conversation with your doctor at your next appointment. Asking the right questions can help you know what to expect.

    Also, consider bringing along one of our doctor discussion guides for even more guidance—it lists common vocabulary terms your doctor may use and important questions about symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and more.

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