In diagnosing or managing respiratory disease, a physician’s primary tools are a medical history, physical examination an X-ray, and if required, a bronchoscopy – a technique of visualizing the inside of the airways or bronchi. Objective measurements of the patient’s respiratory physiology can be extremely helpful, particularly in patients who have respiratory disease such as asthma, but who aren’t fully aware of the extent of their disability.
PFT helps to establish a diagnosis of a patient’s breathing problems. For example, if a patient has a chronic cough, physicians need to know if it is related to asthma or lung disease – a cough can be disabling and can come from anywhere from the nose to the deepest areas of the lungs. PFT can determine if the patient has some type of lung disease or asthma and can help measure their level of control and disease progression.