An oscillometry test helps diagnose conditions such as asthma, cough and shortness of breath. It also checks if certain lung conditions have improved or worsened throughout treatment.

Unlike some pulmonary function tests, which can be complicated or confusing for children, oscillometry requires only calm breathing, making this test ideal for younger pediatric patients.

How Does Oscillometry Work?

Oscillometry is a breathing test that requires no effort and is pain free. Your child will simply breathe through a mouthpiece that's connected to a machine called an oscillometer for approximately one minute while wearing nose clips. They will do this several times.

The test usually involves inhaling a medication called a bronchodilator, which is designed to open the airways. Oscillometry results taken before and after the medication help the physician decide if a bronchodilator is right for your child.

Most children over the age of 3 can perform the oscillometry test without problems, but sometimes a child may not like the nose clips, or keep their mouth open during the test, or are simply too afraid. That’s okay! 

If this is the case, we'll send you home with a mouthpiece and nose clips to practice with your child. When they're able to use both the nose clips and keep their mouth closed on the mouthpiece at the same time for one minute at home, we'll have you return to try the test again.

How to Prepare Your Child for the Test

  • Talk to your child and let them know the test won't hurt or do anything to them — all they have to do is breathe.
  • Let them know they will wear a nose clip which we call a “bunny rabbit.” You can help them practice at home prior to the test by pinching their nose while they breathe in and out.
  • On the day of the test, have your child wear comfortable, loose clothing that is not tight fitting.
  • No large meal within 2 hours of the appointment.
  • No caffeine — including chocolate — within 2 hours of the appointment.

Medications to Pause Before the Appointment

If possible, prior to the test do not have your child take reliever medications such as:

  • Albuterol for 4-8 hours
  • Atrovent for 6 hours
  • Combivent for 8 hours
  • Spiriva for 48 hours

Have them take as usual their controller medications and steroids such as:

  • Qvar
  • Flovent
  • Advair
  • Symbicort
  • Dulera
  • Breo
  • Alvesco
  • Pulmicort
  • Prednesone
  • Prednesolone
  • Singulair
  • Theo-Dur
  • Slobid

If the above instructions are not followed, the appointment may need to be rescheduled upon your arrival.

Need More Information?

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If you have any questions about your test, please call us:

Pediatric Testing

(559) 459-2327

Adult testing

(559) 459-3947.

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