Crystal Lake pulmonologist explains the importance of lung function testing in children
As a parent, it can be upsetting to watch your child struggle to breathe or to stop participating in normal activities from shortness of breath. A child whose breathing is irregular may be referred to a pulmonologist or an asthma specialist for lung function testing to determine how well the lungs are working. Dr. Noga Askenazi and Dr. Eugenia Hahn of Advanced Allergy and Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois have offices located in Elgin, Crystal Lake, and Lake Barrington.
What to expect
Also called pulmonary function tests or PFTs, lung function tests are a non-invasive way to assess the lungs and to diagnose respiratory diseases. Lung function tests may be used to check for diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. These tests simply require your child to perform various breathing tests. The child may be asked to pretend to blow out birthday candles or to blow up a balloon to make the test into a game.
For children, spirometry is the most common test. The patient breathes into mouthpiece while wearing a clip on his or her nose. The mouthpiece is connected to a computer which measures how much and how fast the air comes out of your child’s lungs.
To avoid stressing your child, make note of the following considerations:
- Schedule the test around your child’s routine to avoid stress brought on by hunger or exhaustion.
- Prior to any doctor’s appointment, it is best to prepare your child to lessen any fears of the physician’s office.
- Be patient with your child throughout the appointment.
- Check with the office as some medications should not be given prior to testing.
If you are concern about your child’s breathing and believe there is a problem, contact Drs. Askenazi and Hahn about lung function tests. 847 888 8802