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Spirometry

Is anyone able to read my spirometry results? I was so anxious at the doctor I didn't quite understand everything. Thank you in advance. 

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  • LK

    Welcome JHamilton0206!    

    I have always had to ask my doctor or the tech doing the test, too.  I do know that FEV means Forced Expiratory Volume, and the 1 after it means in the first second you exhale.

    Here is what the May Clinic says about Spirometry.

    I would call and ask your doctor since everyone's reading are different due to how severe or mild our asthma is and other factors such as age and other medical conditions.

    If I may ask, do you have asthma?  I have had it for just over six years.

  • jhamilton0206

    I'm not sure if I do that's why in trying to get this read lol. I feel dumb calling the doctor back but u may have too 😂

  • Kathy P

    Welcome JHamillton! 

    Spirometry is one type of that is used to diagnose and track asthma. As Lisa said, it really needs to be interpreted by your doctor since they will know what specific bits of information they were looking for in the data. It's never dumb to call to ask for clarification or more information.

    What symptoms are you having that caused the doctor to do spirometry tesing?

  • LK

    It has taken me a long time to realize that unless I ask my doctors they don't know what I don't know.  I used to feel awkward calling to ask questions.  I like to think I am a fairly well-informed person so never wanted to "bother" my doctors too much with "silly" questions but I have slowly learned that unless I do ask "What does this mean?"  and "How should I handle this?"  they think I know what it means and what to do, when I don't have a clue.  When you are learning about a new medical condition you have to ask lots of pertinent questions or you have a very hard time getting a handle on how best to help yourself and in the process help your doctors treat your condition.  

    I know for myself, the more I can learn and understand about tests and diagnoses then the less anxiety I will have.  

    Good luck!  Let us know how you are doing!

  • Melissa G

    Welcome to AAFA, Jhamilton0206! 

    Never feel bad about calling your dr and asking questions! It never fails that after I get home I will have more questions. 

    Can you email your questions to the dr or do you have to call them?

  • Kathy P

    JHamilton – do you have a "my chart" type portal where you can email your questions? My dd has anxiety issues and hates to have to talk to someone in person. She does better with email or written communication, so she uses her portal a lot!

  • Gurmit Gill

    It shows mildly reduced FEF 25-75 % with reversibility, reflecting small airway dysfunction, sugg Asthmatic Airways, in presence of symptoms similar to Asthma.

    Some don’t FEF 25-75 % in reading but in presence of symptoms that is what it suggests. 

    There are many studies looking at FEF ( can look on line) 

    hope this was helpful  

     

    Hope this was helpful. 

  • Breatheeasy

    FEF 2575 show a mild restriction or obstruction that improves after brochodilatiin in your report.

    did you feel better after the inhaler?

  • jhamilton0206

    Indidnsee some stufies that say FEF 25-75 is not a goodnindigood  especially if all other numbers are normal. I've looked up too much stuff. My peak flow always averages 420-480 so I don't know. Hopefully just all my anxiety. 

  • Breatheeasy

    Yeah it’s better to check with your doctor to see what’s going on. Were you prescribed any medication? I am new to asthma too and all the spirometry thing so they’d be the best people to advice. 

    Ah yeah the inhalers do that when you’re not having an asthma attack. Atleast that’s what they do to me. 

  • jhamilton0206

    He prescribed me an inhaler but I refuse to use it lol. I have gone down the rabbit hole and all my numbers seen pretty perfect except that one so who knows. 

  • LK
    jhamilton0206 posted:

    No I felt worse. Shaky and panicky. Didn't like it at all.

    I know the shaky and "what's happening to me" feeling after using inhalers/nebulizers so you are not alone in that.  The thing to try to remember is that sometimes you have to get through those moments to get the benefit of the medicine.  It is hard to maintain your composure when you are having trouble breathing and then the medicine you take to breathe better makes you feel strange for a little while BUT  if it helps you breathe better, then in the long run it is what you need to do. 

    All of this is contingent upon you keeping your doctor informed and asking as many questions and getting answers you understand.  

    Hope your doctor is able to answer your questions!!

  • Pljohns

    I'll join the shaking and feeling really weird club.  Sometimes I shake so bad I feel like I'm going to shake apart-sometimes even to the point of my teeth rattling-like the worst chill you've ever had.  It's AWFUL but I know it's just part of it.  Hang in there and like Lisa said-keep your doctor informed, ask lost of questions and keep asking until you understand.

  • K8sMom2002

    JHamilton, it sounds like you are trying to figure out whether the anxiety is from not being able to breathe … or the not being able to breathe is from the anxiety. Both can happen. A "starved for air" feeling can make anyone panic. And anxiety can trigger an asthma attack.

    if you're having side effects from the inhaler, could you reach out to your doctor's office and let them know? Albuterol (the medication in many rescue inhalers) can speed up your heart rate and make you feel shaky, but many people have said that their bodies seem to get more accustomed to it with use.

    I know when I first started using my inhaler, I felt like you: shaky and miserable, and it also was an instant migraine trigger. I talked to my doctor at the time, and he said it was really, really important for me to have and to use a rescue inhaler for my asthma. Asthma rescue inhalers are just that — a rescue, like a life preserver that a lifeguard would throw into a pool. An asthma attack can get really serious really quickly. 

    So I stuck with my doctor's instructions … now I can use my inhaler with a lot less side effects (and no migraines!), and I know that the side effects I do experience will go away very quickly. 

    Do you have a good ? And if you're needing to use your inhaler more than twice a week … could you reach out to your doctor about that? 

  • jhamilton0206

    I'm not fully convinced I have asthma :/ just wanted to see what others thought. My doctor was way to quick to throw the inhaler at me. Haven't used it even when I feel like I can't breath. Peak flow stays the same. I wouldn't know if I was having an asthma attack anyway because of my anxiety. Plus the nebuknebu didn't make my shortness of breath ANY better. The numbers may say differently ( barely ) but physically I was better off before the medicine. I probably shouldn't have even went to the doctor. They will always find something. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, JHamilton … figuring things out can be tough, and trying to figure out if breathing problems are caused by anxiety or asthma can be tricky. Have you seen the resource "" There ARE other things that can look and feel like asthma, so you're very right: it's important to get the proper diagnosis. 

    Are you seeing a board-certified allergist or pulmonologist?

    What do you do when you're having trouble breathing if you don't use the rescue inhaler?

    Here's a good chart called "Know Your Asthma Zones." Even if you are not certain of the diagnosis, you could discuss this with your doctor and use it to help you figure out an action plan for your symptoms …

  • jhamilton0206

    Thank you and I have done anything. Just trying to keep my mind off the feeling and when I do I notice Im okay. If I focus on my breathing I become a mess. I did see one but just that one and only time. I have a cough but it's not constant it's very very random. It's also 19 degrees here so I'm sure I have some cold haha. Thank you for all the info. My chest is always tight bc of anxiety 😂 I guess all I can do is keep monitoring my peak flow and if I notice it going below 400 call the doctor! 

  • Breatheeasy

    I have anxiety and the inhaler does the opposite for me. It eases my anxiety unless I take it when I am fine. When I am totally fine if I take it I get very jittery and anxious like my heart is going to jump out. 

    But I can tell the difference between anxiety and asthma. And also know you can have anxiety induced asthma. 

    If you leave asthma untreated like I did(well in my case I guess I thought it was not possible to develop asthma late. I let the intermittent tightness stay for long before I finally went to the doc almost 6 years after I first felt it). Now I have uncontrolled asthma which I wish I had dealt with earlier.

    And I also have issues with albuterol so can’t use it. Levalbuterol is a lil better. 

    If you have a maintenance inhaler it’s important to take it. It can reverse you asthma so fast. You’ll feel new again and might never need any inhaler as long as you asthma is in control. 

  • K8sMom2002

    JHamilton, I think your question about how to tell whether your tight chest is from asthma or anxiety is a good one, and I hope you and your doctor can figure out a good plan forward. Do you have a follow up appointment?

  • Gurmit Gill

    Anxiety can worsen but does not cause asthma,  but asthma certainly can make anxiety  worse 

    most of asthma is allergic assoc and likely assoc with post nasal drip / stuffy nose. Please get allergy test done,  treat nasal congestion, try montelukast or spiriva or Steroids inhalers. 

    If allergy test negative, then can get Methacholine Chllange Test done, if positive, can sugg asthma but if negative it rules out asthma. 

    So see you doctor, do meditation, distraction therapy or psych meds to control anxiety. 

     

  • jhamilton0206

    I do constantly have a stuffy nose and post nasal drip so that's probably it. I'm already on meds for my anxiety :/

  • Kathy P
    jhamilton0206 posted:

    He prescribed me an inhaler but I refuse to use it lol. I have gone down the rabbit hole and all my numbers seen pretty perfect except that one so who knows. 

    jhamilton0206 posted:

    I do constantly have a stuffy nose and post nasal drip so that's probably it. I'm already on meds for my anxiety :/

    Hi jhamilton – as Cynthia mentioned above, it's important to figure out if you do have asthma. There are other tests besides spirometry that your doctor can do to verify the diagnosis.

    As for numbers, those are a guideline. For instance, I have cough variant asthma and my peak flow numbers rarely go into the yellow even if I'm feeling really bad. I go on symptoms a lot of the time. The Asthma Zones chart above a great resource. I used to get stuck on the numbers, but after more talks with my doctor, I've become more adept at basing my treatment on how I'm feeling instead. Usually, I'm coughing a lot and feel like a weight on my chest – but that's just my symptoms and yours may be different. And if the rescue inhaler doesn't help within a certain time, I look to my for guidance on what to do next.

    I don't know if you found this resource, but AAFA has a great . The link for the guide is at the bottom of that page.

  • LK
    Kathy P posted:

    As for numbers, those are a guideline. For instance, I have cough variant asthma and my peak flow numbers rarely go into the yellow even if I'm feeling really bad. I go on symptoms a lot of the time.

    I, also, have cough variant asthma and my numbers hardly ever correlate with how I am doing.  My pulmo is good at paying attention to how I am doing even when he listens to my lungs and they sound clear.  Can't say any doctor has ever said my lungs sound anything but clear even when I am extremely short of breath and tight.  I cough much, much more and feel very tight in my chest when I am breathing poorly.

  • jhamilton0206

    Thank you for all the input I truly appreciate it. This site is just making my anxiety worse though. I'm going to have to sign out and delete.