Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long will my test┬átake?

    Please refer to the following table for specific durations:

    Test Approximate Duration
    Spirometry (pre & post Bronchodilator response) 30 minutes
    Spirometry + Diffusing Capacity + Static Lung Volumes (Full Lung Function Test) 45 minutes
    Mannitol or Hypertonic Saline Challenge 1 hour
    6 Minute Walk Test (ambulatory pulse oximetry) 45 minutes
    High Altitude Simulation Test approx. 1 hour
    Rhinomanometry 30 minutes
  • How do I prepare for my test?

    To achieve accurate results it is important to follow the instructions outlined below.

    Please withhold your respiratory medications prior to your test, for the durations listed.  Take all other medications as normal. HOWEVER, if you become SHORT OF BREATH or WHEEZY before your appointment, please take your respiratory medications. Then call Northern Respiratory as soon as you can; we may need to postpone your visit.  If you are unsure about which medications you should withhold, please contact us on (08) 8287 2040.

    Test Do not use Medications listed below prior to your tests Do Not Use

    Diffusing Capacity
    & Lung Volumes tests

    Ventolin, Bricanyl, Airomir, Asmol,  Zempreon

    Atrovent  12 hours

    8 hours

    Seretide, Symbicort, Bretaris, Brimica, Flutiform, Duoresp, Serevent, Oxis, Fluticasone + Salmeterol Cipla, Nuelin SR Fostair 12 hours
    Spiriva, Spiolto, Onbrez, Seebri, Ultibro, Anoro, Breo, Incruse, Trelegy, Trimbow, Braltus, Enerzair, Atectura 24 hours

    Mannitol Challenge  and Hypertonic Saline Challenge

    Ventolin, Bricanyl, Airomir, Asmol 

    Atrovent 12 hours

    6 hours

    Qvar, Pulmicort, Flixotide, Fluticasone Cipla, Atrovent 12 hours
    Seretide, Symbicort, , Flutiform, Duoresp, Serevent, Oxis, Fluticasone + Salmeterol Cipla, Nuelin SR Fostair 24 hours

    Spiriva, Spiolto, Onbrez, Seebri, Ultibro, Bretaris, Brimica, Anoro, Breo, Incruse, Trelegy, Trimbow, Braltus, Enerzair, Atectura, Alvesco, Arnuity.

    & ALL ANTI-HISTAMINES (Telfast, Zyrtec, Claratyne, Polaramine, Phenergen etc)

    72 hours

    6 Minute Walk Test and
    High Altitude Simulation Test

    Please take all medications as usual INCLUDING INHALERS
    Do not wear nail polish



    No medicated nasal sprays

    24 hours


    We also ask you not to smoke on the day of your test or for a minimum of 4 hours. 

    Smoking prior to your test will interfere with the results. 

    Comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended for the 6 Minute Walk Test please take all your normal medications including all your respiratory inhalers.

    You are NOT required to fast for any test.

  • Do I need to bring my X-Rays / scans?

    You are not required to bring your x-rays for lung function test appointments, however, it is neccesary to bring them to your consultation with one of our respiratory physicians. Please call our staff on (08) 8364 4422 if you are not sure.

  • What does the test involve?

    Before testing begins, your height and weight will be measured and you will be asked some questions about your smoking history.

    Lung function tests measure how easy it is for you to get air into and out of your lungs, the size of you lungs and how well they deliver oxygen to your body. You will need to perform a series of breathing patterns through your mouth and into a machine. These need to be repeated several times to ensure accurate results are obtained. A respiratory technician will explain, demonstrate and guide you through this, in a simple and easy to understand manner.

    During the 6 minute walk test, your blood oxygen saturation and heart rate will be monitored (via a probe on the finger) while resting, whilst walking at your own pace, and again after walking.  Your blood pressure will also be taken.

    A Rhinomanometry test measures airflow and pressure when breathing through the nose.  If the flow measured is below a certain threshold, a nasal decongestant spray will be administered and the test will be repeated.

    The most important thing you can do on the day is to remain calm and relaxed, we will help you achieve the best results you can.

  • Do I need to arrive early?

    We advise you to arrive approximately 10 - 15 minutes before your appointment to complete some paperwork.

  • What do I need to bring?

    You will need to obtain a referral from your doctor prior to your test, which you will need to bring to your appointment. You also need to bring your valid Medicare card, plus any concession cards (pension, health care card, DVA) on the day.

  • How much will the test cost?

    A fee estimate will be provided at the time of booking. All accounts are payable in full on the day. Fee discounts applicable to Pensioner and health care card concession holders. We accept cash, cheques, EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard and DVA Gold Card.

    A Medicare rebate applies to all tests, except when it is associated with employment or recreational medicals.   GST is additionally charged for all pre-employment or recreational tests.


  • Will my private health insurance cover the cost of the test?

    Private health insurance does not cover lung function testing.

  • What will happen to my results?

    Your results will be reviewed and reported on by a respiratory physician. A copy of your results should be forwarded to your referring doctor within 48 hours of the test. If possible, urgent studies can be reported on the same day. Please inform staff at time of booking, if this is required.

  • What should I do if I require emergency help?

    Please note: Our respiratory physicians consult on a sessional basis and are not available every day. Consultations are by appointment only. If you require emergency assistance, please call for an ambulance on '000' or head to your nearest emergency department to seek medical attention.

  • On the day CHECKLIST

    If required, make sure you withhold your inhaler medications for the appropriate durations.  (This only applies to breathing tests -  for the 6 Minute Walk and High Altitude Simulation Test you use ALL of your inhalers on the day of the test like normal)

    If you are performing an 6 Minute Walk Test please remember to wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes, and make sure not to wear any nail polish.

    You are NOT required to fast for on the day of your appointment.

    Please bring a CURRENT referral, (YOUR TEST CANNOT CONTINUE WITHOUT ONE), Medicare card and concession card (if applicable).

    Please arrive at least 10 - 15 minutes before your appointment to fill in some paperwork.

    You we will be helped to achieve the best results possible. If you have any queries or concerns, please speak to the respiratory technician on the day of your test.