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Pulmonary Function Test: Exercise Induced Asthma Test

What Is an Exercise Induced Asthma Test?

The Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Cincinnati Children's performs lung function tests such as exercise induced asthma testing.

Exercise induced asthma tests measure airway reactivity to exercise. The airway is made up of many small tubes that carry air in and out of lungs. During exercise, the airways may become narrow in patients with exercise induced asthma, making it harder to breathe.

About the Test

Your child will blow into a spirometer to measure how fast he or she is able to move air in and out of the lungs.

After successful completion, be placed on an oxygen and heart rate monitor to allow continuous monitoring. They will run on a treadmill for six to eight minutes to achieve maximum heart rate.

While running, he or she will be asked how hard they feel like they are working on a scale of 1-10.

After exercise, your child will continue to perform at least two spirometry maneuvers every five minutes for 30 minutes. If there is a significant change in your child's lung function, he or she will be treated with a bronchodilator before discharge.

The test takes about one and a half to two hours. Timing includes explanation and practice testing.

Preparing Your Child for the Test

  • You must be able to follow directions, maintain a tight seal around a mouthpiece and be able to pedal a bicycle, run or walk briskly on a treadmill in order to perform the test.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes and appropriate shoes exercise, such as GYM shoes for walking, running or pedaling.
  • No intense exercise on the day of the test.
  • No LARGE meals within two hours before the test. However, you may drink clear liquids (like water or apple juice) and eat a SMALL snack (fruit or granola bar) up to one hour before the test. It is recommended that you DO NOT go longer than six hours without eating.
  • Avoid caffeinated products like coffee, tea and cola drinks; chocolate; added sugar; over-the-counter cold / sinus and allergy medicine, alcoholic drinks; and smoking for 24 hours before the test.

For optimal testing, it is recommended that certain medications NOT be taken prior to the test for the time periods indicated (However, if you have concerns about not taking these medications, please contact your doctor).

Possible Side Effects

There are no side effects and your child may resume normal activities after testing.

Last Updated 06/2022

Reviewed By Jaime Reiter, RT