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How do you test for COPD?

AAFA's "Ask the Allergist" is a free service provided by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Our allergist will answer your questions about asthma and allergies. We provide only general advice about managing asthma or allergies, medicines and treatments. "Ask the Allergist" does not answer questions about specific consumer products. This information is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. Always talk with your doctor before changing your asthma or allergy management plan.

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Question
I think I might have COPD. What tests might my doctor do to determine if that's the case?
Answer

COPD is diagnosed with lung function testing (pulmonary function tests), such as spirometry. Spirometry measures lung function and capacity. It involves exhaling into a tube connected to a machine.

COPD can also be assessed with a chest X-ray, CT scan, arterial blood gas assessment, and other laboratory tests.

There's also the 6-minute walk test. It's a test that measures the functional status of those with COPD. It provides information about the possibility of a drop in oxygen saturation. This helps determine if you need supplemental oxygen.



There's more information on diagnosing COPD here.

Categories
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Treatment
Answered by

Douglas T. Johnston D.O. FAAAAI, FACAAI

Reviewed and Answered

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