Are you experiencing breathing problems while exercising — most commonly, shortness of breath or wheezing? These might be important signs that you need a pulmonary stress test, also called a lung function test. If you have any of the 5 chronic conditions listed in Dr. Eric Small’s blog on the topic, you should talk to your physician or sports medicine specialist about getting a pulmonary stress test.
What happens during a pulmonary stress test
The pulmonary exercise stress test, usually done on a treadmill or stationary bike, determines how effective your lungs, heart and muscles function during exercise. It is also used to check the extent of damage caused by conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis or sarcoidosis. In addition, this test is an effective diagnostic tool to check how well breathing-related treatments are working, such as asthma medications.
- Severe allergies
- Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of lung tissue)
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Sarcoidosis (nodules in the lungs)
During the test, be sure to tell your physician if you experience any of the following:
- Chest, arm or jaw discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Leg cramps or soreness
If you are experiencing shortness of breath, especially when exercising, see a specialist
If you are having trouble breathing, particularly when exercising, or if you would like to know more about pulmonary stress tests, please make an appointment with Westchester Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine to see one of the orthopedic/sports medicine specialists. Together with you, they will determine the course of action that will best improve your condition.
To read Dr. Small’s blog in full, click here.