A spirometer is a device that is used to measure the function of the lungs and the airways.
There are different tests in spirometry. The most important test is the Forced Vital Capacity or FVC. To perform a Forced Vital Capacity test, the patient takes a breath as deep as he possibly can and than expires as hard and as fast as he can in the spirometer. After the forced and complete expiration he takes another breath as deep and as fast as he can.
The result is expressed as the flow-volume loop, the volume-time loop and about thirty different parameters, like the important FEV1, FVC, peak expiratory flow and the Tiffeneau index.
The use of spirometers is increasing as the incidence of chronic respiratory illnesses is rising.
Spirometers are in fact the first choice of diagnostic aid to detect important respiratory illnesses like asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
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