Do You Know Your FEV1?

Discussion created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Mar 7, 2017
Latest reply on Mar 7, 2017 by Thomas3.20.2010

What a Spirometry Score Can Tell You About Your COPD

Your Spirometry Score is a key measurement in determining the progression of COPD and how to best treat it.


Spirometry is used when a patient complains of breathing difficulties such as shortness of breath, cough, or mucus production and it can detect COPD even in its earliest stage before even before any obvious symptoms manifest.

Spirometry measures:

  • How much air you can breathe in and out
  • How fast you can breathe out that volume of air

For many of these tests, you will be asked to breathe as forcefully as you can. Often, a test is repeated three or more times to make sure results are consistent and accurate. Spirometry is often performed before and after the patient is given an inhaled medicine called a "bronchodilator" Knowing how you respond to the bronchodilator will help your doctor know if one of these types of medicines will improve your breathing.


Reviewing changes in FEV1 over time can tell how well your treatment is doing. It can also track the progression of your lung disease. COPD severity is often graded using percentage of predicted FEV1 after you have inhaled a bronchodilator medicine. These grades help health care providers in suggesting the right kind of treatments for each of the disease stages.


Health Care Providers use the GOLD or Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.


You can learn more about your stage of disease by going to :

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease - Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease - GOLD 


Your doctor will assign grades to four separate pieces of information:

  • How severe your current symptoms are
  • Your spirometry results
  • The chances that your COPD will get worse
  • The presence of other health problems

There are 4 Stages to the Gold Standard:

The best way to control your COPD is to learn as much as you can about it so that you will feel better.