Lung function test. This test is similar to spirometry. Pulmonary function tests are usually safe. Shortness of breath is a common symptom. Tests will help determine the cause of your breathlessness. Shortness of breath is a common symptom. It might hurt, and you could bleed a bit where the needle went in. Persistent shortness of breath (SOB) long after recovery from presumed or documented COVID-19 infection is a vexing and troublesome symptom for untold numbers of people. Your medical team will give you time to rest. In addition to prescribing medication to treat your disease, they may suggest pulmonary rehabilitation , which can greatly improve quality of life by helping people with chronic conditions safely improve their fitness and learn how to manage their symptoms. Then, you take a spirometry test. Shortness of breath is a symptom of COVID-19. It includes information on what will happen when you see your doctor, the questions they might ask, tests they’ll do and how long it will take to get a diagnosis. Spirometry measures how much air you can breathe in and out. Don’t eat a large meal at least 2 hours before the test. It can show the doctor signs of conditions such as pneumonia or other heart and lung problems. Toggle navigation. Tests that help measure the lungs' ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide are used to diagnose occupational lung diseases. If you experience shortness of breath, be sure to take note of when it occurs, how often it occurs and other related symptomatic information to assist your doctor in reviewing your case. This test measures lung and heart strength. Other tests are done based on results of the examination (see table Some Causes and Features of Shortness of Breath). If another lung condition is causing your shortness of breath, you may want to consult a pulmonologist, or lung specialist. Ask them any questions you may have. Shortness of breath is a symptom of COVID-19. Learn which exam maneuvers are worthwhile and which ones are worthless in your approach to shortness of breath. Your doctor will talk with you about what your results mean and the next steps to take. Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a distressing sensation of difficult, labored, unpleasant or inadequate breathing. The pulse oximeter, or Pulse Ox, is an electronic device that measures the saturation of oxygen carried in your red blood cells. What tests are needed to evaluate shortness of breath? If you have a symptom of shortness of breath or a known lung or heart condition, your doctor may use a pulse oximeter. Dyspnea is the term used when someone experiences a shortness of breath. They include: “Normal” results are based on your age, height, and sex. Many of us have experienced shortness of breath at some time or another. This symptom may come on rapidly or come on so slowly that it's not recognized at first. During the test, you walk on a treadmill or a ride a stationary bicycle. Many standard diagnostic tests for shortness of breath, including noninvasive cardiopulmonary testing, electrocardiogram (EKG), computed tomography (CT), and pulmonary function testing … The first symptom of pulmonary hypertension is usually shortness of breath with everyday activities, such as climbing stairs. Lung function tests are important, whether you’ve been diagnosed with a breathing problem or think you may have one. “That is the most common presenting symptom,” says Vallerie McLaughlin, M.D. An EKG can show your doctor if blood flow to the heart is impaired. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Shortness of breath is a telltale sign of the condition. As a result, sometimes patients are given an incorrect diagnosis. Take our Breath Test to find out more about your symptoms and see if it's time to see a doctor. 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