Free breathing test – what to expect


What does it involve?

Having a breathing test only takes five minutes, doesn’t hurt and is very easy to do – you simply blow into a mouthpiece three times and you’re done! Local smoking cessation team representatives will also be on hand throughout the day to offer advice and information on different methods to help you kick the habit.

See our video of Professor Stephen Spiro, vice-chair of the British Lung Foundation, talking about COPD and free breathing tests.

Who should take the test?

what-to-expect-testAt our events we welcome anybody aged over 16 to take the test. We particularly recommend current or ex-smokers over 35 as well as anybody who suffers from the following symptoms:

  • persistent cough
  • breathing problems
  • wheezy chest
  • excess phlegm
  • recurrent chest infections

Having a test is simple, safe and easy, however, we will be unable to test you if you’ve had any of the following:

  • Recent eye, thoracic or abdominal surgery
  • Recent/ Unstable angina or recent heart attack
  • Myocardial infarction, uncontrolled hypertension or pulmonary embolism
  • Recent stroke or know cerebral or abdominal aneurysm
  • Recent Collapsed lung (Pneumothorax)
  • Coughing up blood (Haemoptysis of unknown origin)
  • We recommend anybody who has had any of the above within the last 3 months yet is concerned about their breathing to seek additional expert advice

How can you prepare for the test?

If possible:

  • Avoid eating a large meal within 2 hours of the start of the test
  • Do not smoke within 1 hour of the start of the test
  • Do not consume alcohol within 4 hours of the start of the test
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing that does not restrict your breathing
  • Avoid vigorous exercise within 30 minutes of the start of the test


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