The Pulmonary Function Test is quite the joy ride. No, not really. But, the PFT does help cardiologists understand how strong my lungs are when I breath based on the forced volume vital capacity.
For the test you basically sit on a chair in a tall empty glass booth with a device that you put into your mouth connected to a computer. The booth is sealed up and you breath into a 1.5 inch tube. A respiratory therapist guides you through a series of breathing exercises.
Generally, the patient is asked to take the deepest breath they can, and then exhale into the sensor as hard as possible, for as long as possible. It is sometimes directly followed by a rapid inhalation (inspiration), in particular when assessing possible upper airway obstruction.
Sometimes, the test will be preceded by a period of quiet breathing in and out from the sensor (tidal volume), or the rapid breath in (forced inspiratory part) will come before the forced exhalation.
During the test, soft nose clips may be used to prevent air escaping through the nose. Filter mouthpieces may be used to prevent the spread of microorganisms, particularly for inspiratory maneuvers.
They also had me walk up and down a hallway for 6 minutes checking my pulse, saturation levels, and blood pressure. I actually did pretty good given the fact I have a heart almost the size of my head.