When you have a disability or chronic illness, one of the most important things you can do is to learn as much as you can about it.  The more you know, the easier it should be to get a handle on those days when you feel like it is a constant battle and you are not sure you are winning.

Knowing the language or words that go with COPD/Asthma is a great way to start or to continue to refresh a person’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the lifelong health companion which we are dealing with.

With that, we discuss some of what we call ‘must know words’ of life with COPD/Asthma – and today we will discuss briefly the importance of knowing the word(s) ‘Vital Capacity’.

What is ‘Vital Capacity’?

By definition, ‘Vital Capacity’ is “the greatest amount of air that can be forced from the lungs after maximum inhalation”.  It is the maximum amount of air you expel from your lungs after you have a maximum inhalation and it is equal to the sum of inspiratory reserve volume, tidal volume and expiratory reserve volume.

A person’s vital capacity is measured with a wet or regular spirometer and in combination with other physiological measurments, can help give that person a diagnosis of any lung disease.

‘Vital Capacity’ is also used to in helping determine the severity of respiratory muscle involvement in neuromuscular diseases and can help physicians and specialists be guided when making treatment decisions in Guillian-Barre` Syndrome and mayasthenic crisis.

Whereas a normal adult should have a vital capacity between three and five litres, the reading can and will depend on age, sex, height, mass and ethnicity.

Most of anyone that has been diagnosed with either severe Asthma or any stage of COPD has been given tests to see where that person’s lungs are within the scope of their disease.

While both lung volumes and lung capacities will refer to the volume of air associated with different phases of a respiratory cyle, the lung volume is directly measured while the lung capacity is inferred from those volumes.

Most of anyone diagnosed with COPD and/or severe Asthma knows the importance of knowing their FEV (forced expiratory volume) measures – which is how much air a person can exhale during a forced breath.  Those are measured during the first (FEV1), second (FEV2) and third (FEV3) seconds of the forced breath.

Your forced ‘Vital Capacity’ (FVC) is the total amount of air exhaled during the FEV testing.

Just remember, while FEV numbers seem to be the most often referenced, it is important to know your overall FVC or ‘Vital Capacity’ number as well in helping you keep track of the depth of your battle with COPD and/or Asthma.

With that, we ask a ‘QUESTION OF OUR READERS’ and today we ask, “Do you know your FVC (‘Vital Capacity’) number and how it relates to your FEV (Forced Expiratory Volume) numbers?

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer, reprinting or reuse of this article is restricted without written permission.)

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

Know that you can follow all the writings by CrossDove Writer pertaining to COPD/Asthma by following at wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.

(Information gathered from various books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)