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How long does a lung function test take

Importance of the lungs

The medical term lung function is the "pulmonary physiology."

The lungs are the most important organs of the respiratory system ....

This system has two main components: a respiratory pump (chest) and lungs (with the airway).

The rib cage acts as a bellows and makes getting in and out air from the lungs.

Lung function makes it possible to bring fresh oxygen (O2) to the body and remove carbon dioxide (CO2); these gas exchange, which is done by way of the bloodstream, allow to transport oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body.

Several organs involved in the functioning of the lungs and respiratory system also come in the central nervous system, the circulatory system (heart and blood vessels) and muscles of the chest and diaphragm.

The lung function also performs other tasks in the human body, such as heating air breathed his humidification and protection against harmful particles that could penetrate.

Pulmonary diseases

Lung function is essential to life.

Each year, a lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD affects 4 million people 100,000 patients with stage chronic respiratory insufficiency and 16 000 deaths.

How do the lungs?

The lungs are located in the chest and follow the trachea, which extends the larynx and is divided into two right and left bronchi that enter the corresponding lung.

In the lung, airways continue to divide into branches more and more numerous, short and thin, like the branches of the tree branches. The smaller bronchial tubes are called bronchioles. They open onto the cells lung, small air cavities which occurs the exchange of gases between air and blood.

Each lung is surrounded by a closed sac called the pleura.

The chest wall is itself formed of twelve pairs of ribs which join the sternum prior to dorsal vertebrae back. This grill is a rib bone protection; the diaphragm is a muscle that forms the floor of the thoracic cavity.
All anatomical structures involved in lung function and their role in gas exchange.

Blood capillaries (small blood vessels) form a dense network around the cells and allow the O2 / CO2 exchange.

How is he clear?

Breathing is an unconscious phenomenon controlled by nerve centers at the base of the brain. If the good functioning of the lungs, whatever the cause, conscious breathing becomes difficult because: it is then necessary to think to breathe If real difficulty breathing, doctors speak of dyspnea..

With what should we be confused?

Dyspnea or shortness of breath can have many causes that are not all related to lung function.

Some causes are extrarespiratoires, such as heart failure or neurological or metabolic disorder (blood disorder).

The lungs then play a compensatory role until the regulatory phenomena are exceeded, leading to acute respiratory failure.

Will it possible prevention?

Lung diseases have various causes (genetic, environmental ...) but in all cases, the preservation of lung function based on the judgment of active or passive smoking.

Smoking increases disease and lung problems: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (75% of cases are related to smoking), pneumonia, reduced lung capacity, reduced lung growth in children and adolescents smoking, asthma ...

When to consult?

Any respiratory difficulty should motivate an emergency consultation.

Some causes may require treatment in an emergency, such as asthma or pneumothorax. A call to SAMU Centre 15 describing the symptoms allows the doctor to send relief that will bring oxygen is lacking in the body.

What does the doctor?

The doctor several ways to assess and evaluate the functioning of the lungs.

The firm, he can determine the respiratory rate an individual breathes between 12 and 15 times per minute (inspiratory and expiratory movements).

It can then look and feel the chest to detect an abnormality of the motion of the lungs; asymmetry for example, or an anomaly to percussion on one side of the chest may reveal an underlying lung disease like pneumonia or pneumothorax.

Finally, auscultation with a stethoscope offers the possibility to the doctor listen to the sounds from the lungs and airways.

Other tests are used to assess lung function:
    pulsed oxygen pulse oximetry to measure eg fingerstick blood oxygenation, the peak-flow or other devices used to detect early and easily, with a general, ventilatory disorders.
    chest X-ray,
    the scanner or MRI themselves give information on the anatomy of the lungs.
    Pulmonary function tests (PFT) provide information on lung capacity and lung function.

How to prepare for my next visit?

If asthma or recurrent respiratory difficulties, it is important to identify the triggers or improvement. Allergic or environmental factors eg (air pollution) could then be discussed and tests provided by your doctor.

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