Accurate measurement of respiratory function is necessary to assess and manage asthma.

Spirometry is the best lung function test for diagnosing asthma and for measuring lung function when assessing asthma control. The measurement of peak expiratory flow with conventional peak flow meters has significant limitations.

Most adults and children over 6 years of age can perform spirometry.

The aim of spirometry in general practice is to assess variability of airflow obstruction, and to measure the degree of airflow obstruction compared to predicted normal. Accurate measurement of respiratory function is necessary to assess and manage asthma.

The National Asthma Council Australia, along with the Lung Foundation Australia and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand recommend that all doctors managing asthma should have access to and use a spirometer for this purpose.

Our spirometry resources include:

For further advice on the use of spirometry in the diagnosis and management of asthma, see the Australian Asthma Handbook.