What is spirometry?

Spirometry is a lung function test for measuring how effectively air can be moved in and out of the lungs. In general practice, its most common use is for diagnosing / monitoring asthma and COPD*.  Most adults and children over 6 years of age can perform spirometry.

*COPD = Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (previously known as COAD or emphysema).


Spirometry small


Patients should obtain a referral from their treating doctor before making a booking.  Please inform reception staff that the appointment is for Spirometry so that appropriate preparations can be made. At East Ringwood Clinic, Spirometry is performed in conjunction with a long (30 -45 minute) consultation with Dr Dilip Hoole



The appointment begins by reviewing the indications for the test, checking the patient is suitable, and performing an initial Spirometry measurement (pre-bronchodilator). After the initial measurement, bronchodilator medication will be administered to the patient.  Approximately 10-20 minutes later, another Spirometry measurement (post-bronchodilator) is taken.  The test is the reported and the results explained.  Based upon the result, initial management will also be performed. 


The spirometry appointment consists of a Spirometry Test and a long consultation (30 - 45 minutes).  An out of pocket cost of $60 applies to the service.

Pre Test Instructions

For patients referred for Diagnosis:

  • No Short acting B-agonists (e.g. Ventolin / Asmol / Salbutamol / Bricanyl) within 4 hrs of the test.
  • No Long acting B-agonists / long acting muscarinic agonists within 24 hrs of the test.
  • Steroid inhalers without long acting B-agonists / long acting muscarinic agonists are acceptable.

For patients referred for Monitoring of existing management:

  • Continue Regular Medications including long acting medication.
  • No Short acting B-agonists (e.g. Ventolin / Asmol / Salbutamol / Bricanyl) within 4 hrs of the test.

Additional instructions for all patients:

  • If in doubt about what inhalers you can / can’t use, please contact your referring doctor.
  • Please use your reliever medication in the event of respiratory distress (the test may need to be cancelled, but your health and safety is more important).
  • Please postpone your test if you are suffering from a respiratory infection.

On the day of the test:

  • Prior to testing: no vigorous exercise for 30 minutes, no smoking for 1 hr, no alcohol for 4 hrs.
  • Avoid clothing that substantially restricts full chest / abdominal expansion.
  • Please bring your referral for with you.
  • In the interest of minimising waste:  If you own them, please bring your own Spacer and Salbutamol puffer (Ventolin, Asmol, Airomir).