Preparing for your spirometry appointment

Spirometry is a non-invasive breathing test that measures the amount of air a person can exhale and the rate at which the air is exhaled. You will be asked to breathe in as much as you can and then blow out as much as you can through a mouthpiece connected to the spirometer. A bronchodilator may be administered and the breathing test repeated to determine the amount of reversibility of the airways.

  • Please bring proof of covid vaccination
  • A rapid covid test will be done during and at the beginning of the appointment.             
  • Avoid smoking and/or vaping and/or water pipe use within at least 8 hours of testing (to void acute bronchoconstriction due to smoke inhalation)
  • Please bring your respiratory medications (inhalers) to your appointment
  • Avoid a heavy meal 2 hours prior to test, 
  • Avoid vigorous exercise 1 hour before a test
  • Avoid wearing clothing that restricts the chest and abdomen
  • Appointment time – 1 hour to 1 ½ hours

If this is your first time having spirometry at Marathon Family Health Team, you should withhold the following medications as per chart below. 

If you are repeating spirometry at Marathon Family Health Team and  are unsure if you should withhold or continue with your inhalers, please contact the booking staff at Marathon Family Health Team.

Withhold medications (if possible) as follows:

Short-Acting Beta2 Agonist (SABA) eg: albuterol or salbutamol (Ventolin)8 hours
Short-Acting Muscarinic Antagonist (SAMA) eg:  Atrovent and (LTRA – Singulair)12 hours
Long-Acting Beta2 Agonist (LABA) eg:  Formoterol or salmeterol (Oxeze Turbuhaler , Serevent Diskus, Foradil)24 hours
Ultra-Long acting Beta2 agonist (ultra-laba) eg: indacaterol(Onbrez Beezhaler), vilanterol, or olodaterol36 hours
Long-acting Muscarinic Antagonist (LAMA) e.g. Spiriva, Incruse Ellipta36-48 hours (48 hours preferred)

 Antihistamines and steroids (oral and inhaled) do not need to be withheld

Note:  If there is a need for the rescue medication prior to testing, the rescue medication should be used and the time noted. 

A bronchodilator may be administered during the test. The potential side effects are:

  • increased heart rate (palpitations)
  • tremors of hands (lasting approximately 30 minutes
  • headache

Note:  if you have a cold, flu, fever, or are feeling ill please contact the clinic prior to coming in for your test.

Ada Parsons, RPN, CRE