Accessibility tools
cuh logo

Respiratory Muscle Assessment

What is it?

A respiratory muscle assessment is a series of tests designed to assess how strong the muscles are which control your breathing.

What is involved?

The test can be divided into three parts:

  • Sniff Nasal Inspiratory Pressure (SNIP): This test involves placing a small bung into the opening of your nostril and sniffing in as hard as possible. The test measures how much pressure you can generate with a big sniff, which indicates how strong your muscles are which control breathing inwards. We measure this in both nostrils.

Depending on what results you get from the SNIP test we may or may not do two additional tests.

  • Mouth Inspiratory Pressure: This test involves wearing a nose peg and breathing through a tube attached to a computer. We will ask you to blow out until your lungs are empty and then suck in as hard as you can against a slight blockage, we measure how much pressure you generate with the big breath in, which indicates how strong your muscles are which control breathing inwards. We may ask you to do this several times.
  • Mouth Expiratory Pressure: This test also involves wearing a nose peg and breathing through a tube attached to a computer. For this test we will also ask you to support your lips and cheeks with your hands. We will ask you to take a big breath in and then blow out as hard as you can against a slight blockage. We measure how much pressure you can generate with a big blow out which indicates how strong your muscles are which control breathing outwards. We may ask you to do this several times.