If your doctor has ordered a pulmonary function test, don't postpone the procedure. The pulmonary function test examines various aspects of your lungs. This includes capacity, flow rate, and gas exchange. If you've never had a pulmonary function test, you'll need to prepare. You should wear loose clothes to your appointment. If you smoke, avoid that for several hours before your test. If you're not sure why your doctor ordered the test, read the information provided below. Here are four of the reasons a pulmonary function test is important to your health. 

You've had Exposure to Asbestos

The United States banned asbestos use in 1989. Before that, asbestos was popular in everything from home insulation to brake pads. In fact, many brake components still contain asbestos. Asbestos can cause serious harm to your health. Breathing in asbestos fibers can lead to lung cancer. The risk for asbestos-related lung problems is even greater if you smoke. If you're exposed to asbestos, you need to have your lungs checked. A pulmonary function test gives your doctor the information they need. 

You've had Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections can harm your lungs. Each time you have a lung infection, inflammation happens. Over time, your lungs lose their ability to function. That means you can push air through your lungs the way you should. One current lung infection is especially dangerous. COVID-19 can lead to pneumonia. If that happens, you're likely to experience life-long lung damage. If you've recovered from COVID-19, your doctor needs to check for possible lung damage. That's why a pulmonary function test is so important. This test identifies damage caused by COVID-19. 

You've Worked in a Suspect Industry

There are some career fields that can lead to serious lung problems. Some of those career fields include coal mining and auto body. This is especially true if you paint cars for a living. If you work in a suspect field, you need to have regular medical check-ups. The pulmonary function test is an important part of that check-up. 

You've Developed Breathing Problems

If you've recently developed breathing problems, the problem might be in your lungs. If that's the case, your doctor needs a clear view of how your lungs function. The best way to do that is with a pulmonary function test. Through that, your doctor can identify the cause of your breathing problems.

Don't take chances with your health. If you have any of the problems listed above, talk to your doctor about pulmonary function testing.