Various Methods of Respiratory System Testing
Alarming number of respiratory diseases has been major concern for the healthcare industry. There are various types of diagnosis processes of respiratory diseases. This article features the most commonly used testing methods.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, respiratory diseases are on the rise. Lung disorder is one of the main symptoms of the disease. The respiratory disorders include influenza, asthma, tuberculosis, pneumoconioses, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obliterative bronchiolitis, mesothelioma, and silicosis. Air pollution and smoking tobacco are the main reasons for the rise of such diseases.
Studies have found that millions of people get affected by respiratory diseases around the world every year. According to a study conducted by the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) in 2017, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) took 3.2 million and asthma took 495 thousand lives in a year. Nevertheless, all-age prevalent cases of chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) were recorded at 545 million.
There are various types of respiratory system tests that are performed to find out any disorder or information about the lungs. Some of them are mentioned below:
Spirometry is the most common type of respiratory test. The volume and rate of breathing is measured by this type of test. Doctors use this method also to monitor and diagnose respiratory conditions such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
A handheld device, spirometer is used to perform this test.
With a clip on the nose, the patient needs inhale and exhale as hard as possible into the mouthpiece of the spirometer. The mouthpiece should be sealed with the patient’s lips in the process. The patient should swiftly exhale to the fullest extent till there’s no air left to exhale. This maneuver is performed three times minimum to ensure steady results.
Lung Capacity and Airway Resistance
The two ways for determining the total lung capacity are gas dilution techniques and body plethysmography.
Body plethysmography is also used to measure the airway resistance. This is a forced oscillation technique, which helps in assessing the resistance level of the total respiratory system. This type of testing doesn’t require breathing techniques like spirometry.
Lung Volume Measurement
Plethysmography is the testing method used to measure the volume of air in the lungs. The patient is instructed to take a deep breath and full exhalation. This method is also used to diagnose the pulmonary fibrosis disease.
The patient is instructed to breathe into a tube- connected to a computer- to measure the volume of the lung. Sometimes, patients are also instructed to breathe in nitrogen or helium gas and then exhale out. The volume of air indicates the volume of the lung.
Lung Diffusion Capacity
By lung diffusion capacity, the transmission of oxygen from the lungs into the blood stream is measured. The patient needs to inhale air through a tube, hold the breath for a while and then exhaling the air out through the tube. This test determines the lung tissue functions and the streaming of blood into the lungs.
Arterial Blood Gases
Another type of respiratory system test is arterial blood gas analysis. This medical process measures the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood of the patient. With a small needle, a small sample of blood is taken from the wrist artery.
Exercise tests is basically a 6-minute walk test. This test is performed to check the impact of a respiratory condition on the daily activities of the individual.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Respiratory System Testing Industry
The demand for the respiratory testing facilities has experienced a massive surge during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the leading players of the respiratory system testing market are focusing on developing and launching new products to meet the demand of the testing facilities.
For instance, BATM, a pioneer in medical devices and real-time technologies has recently launched 3 new diagnostic kits to help with the COVID-19 diagnosis and to determine other respiratory disorders. The 3 tests include a COVID-19 antigen test, COVID-19 serologic test, and a molecular diagnostics.
Such steps are indicating towards a positive growth of the market in the upcoming years.
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