Cough is one of the top reasons why people visit their family doctors. Many coughs are not life-threatening, but they can affect people’s sleep, and can sometimes lead to retching, vomiting and even incontinence. Chronic cough can also make people worry that something may be wrong with their health.
If you've had a cough that lasts for three weeks or longer and it’s not improving, the Canadian Lung Association recommends that you get it checked out.
Respiratory therapy helps people with lung disease increase their ability to live independently and overcome the physical limitations resulting from their disease.
Various tests are done to make a diagnoses:
- Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are performed in order to diagnose lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema. Your doctor may order a follow up PFT to assess your response to breathing medicines. The machine used to test your breathing looks a lot like a phone booth!
- Do not use your puffers prior to a scheduled breathing test.
- Do not use Long Acting Bronchodilators such as advair, symbicort, oxeze, serevent and spirivia on the day of the test.
- Do not use Short Acting Bronchodilator or relievers such as ventolin, bricanyl and atrovent 4 hours before the test.
- Do not smoke for 4 hours prior to the test!
- Spirometry is a simple breathing test that may be used to screen for COPD.
- Home oxygen assessments (exertional oximetry or walk test) are ordered to determine whether or not you qualify for oxygen therapy in your home. Oxygen is a drug and requires a prescription from your physisican. You must meet very specific criteria in order for home oxygen to be funded. You will be required to walk for 6 minutes without oxygen and perhaps again with oxygen. You may also have a special blood test done (ABG or arterial blood gas) to determine the levels of oxygen in your blood.If you have oxygen and are coming for a renewal do NOT wear your oxygen for 20 minutes prior to your appointment.
Patients need a referral from either a family physician or a specialist and appointments are required. Please call 613-432-4851 ext. 198 for an appointment.
Do you know what spirometry measures?
Take the Canadian Lung Health Test