Advantages of Oscillometry Over Spirometry for Diagnosing and Treating Lungs

A limitation on the airway when breathing is uncomfortable and can be life-threatening, especially in children. Diagnosing airway impairment is not easy in young children due to the small size of their mouth and the struggle the health professionals undergo in trying to assess their mouth and noses. Most health professionals are using spirometry to help diagnose airway impairment and monitoring lung conditions. However, spirometry has its challenges. On the other, hand Thorasys uses an oscillation technique that is easy to use, friendly to the patients, sensitive to changes, and accurate.


A spirometry test determines the amount of air you can forcefully breathe out to assess the condition of your lungs. The spirometer machine is attached to a pipe that the patient uses to exhale and inhale through.  However, spirometer has many limitations, which make its use ineffective.

Limitations of Spirometry

1.     Inability to Determine the Cause of Airway Limitation

Spirometry does not determine what causes airway flow limitation, whether it is due to an obstruction or the failure of the lungs to rebound after inhalation.

2.     It depends on Patient Willingness to Cooperate

It requires the effort of the patient. Hence, if the patient is unwilling to perform the forced inhalation, the results will not be accurate. Also, the action by the patient to forcefully exhale air diminishes with time; hence the average figure of the data collected is questionable.

The patient also needs to seal the lips properly to obtain accurate results.

3.     Challenge of Timing the Test

The practitioners also have the challenge of timing when the test is required using the spirometer.

For accurate interpretation of data, the practitioner has to document the current medication of the patient accurately.

4.     Inability to Detect Improvements After Therapy

The spirometry cannot detect the improvement in the performance of the lungs after a few doses of treatment hence not able to accurately determine the effectiveness of the treatment.


Oscillometry is a test that checks the lung function of young children and adults, usually with difficulty breathing deeply. The patient generally breathes through a tube connected to a computer that detects airways blockages and determines lung function.

The doctor may require their patient to repeat several normal breaths to obtain accurate data. The Oscillometry test takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Advantages of OScillometry

Oscillometry is an assessment of the lungs without forced breathing and can accurately monitor even minor changes in the condition of the lungs.

1.     Independent of Patient’s Effort

Oscillometry can determine the respiratory resistance irrespective of the respiratory effort of the patient. Oscillometry superimposes a gentle multi-frequency oscillation on top of the natural airflow of the patient.

2.     Ability to Determine Airway Resistance in Small and Large Airways

Can monitor small and large airway resistance in asthmatic patients and patients with cystic fibrosis independent of the upper airway shunt capacitance.

Oscillometry can also detect respiratory issues during pregnancy.

3.     Ability to Detect the Extent Of The Disease

Can determine the severity of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) disease through pathophysiological changes.

4.     Can Detect Small Improvements After Therapy

Oscillometry can detect daily variations in the functioning of the lungs in COPD patients when spirometry readings are still unchanged and can differentiate drug therapy responses.

The oscillometry test can detect improvement in lung function after the maintenance therapy, which corresponds with the progress of observable symptoms of the patient.

5.     Has Potential to Determine Personalized Dosage

Oscillometry can detect minor improvements in the performance of the lungs of the OCPD patients after the first dose of treatment. Hence, the practitioner can optimize the dosage using the first treatment data to have a personalized treatment for the subsequent doses.


Oscillometry can detect problems with the airway with normal tidal breathing in COPD patients without the patient’s effort. The oscillometry can detect the airway dysfunctions during the diagnosis and after the treatment therapy. Oscillometry has helped increase compliance by the patients due to the ease of taking measurements and the short-term progress that the oscillometry test can detect. With oscillometry, it is possible to observe an abnormality in airway functions early enough in young children and accurately monitor the effect of the treatment.

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