Are you wondering, how do you get diagnosed with asthma? Doctors consider the presenting symptoms, medical history, physical exam, and various test results before diagnosing a patient with asthma.
Take action immediately if you or your child are experiencing difficulty breathing on a regular basis and see a doctor right away. They will perform a physical exam, run some tests, and ask about your medical history to determine if you have asthma. Even if you go to a primary care provider, you must choose the best to get practical guidance to keep asthma symptoms under control and prevent future attacks.
Here’s a quick look at what your healthcare provider will look at and require from you to ensure a correct diagnosis.
Biographical Data And Medical Records
Your doctor will ask you questions to learn more about your symptoms and their possible causes. To assist the doctor, bring a few notes about symptoms you have experienced.
Your doctor will discuss your medical history, family history, and current habits. While providing this information, include any existing health issues you have.
Moreover, difficulties with inhalation, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness are all signs of asthma. While discussing these symptoms with your doctor, explain any past medical issues as well. Allergies and eczema are risk factors, so don’t forget to mention them.
Take note of any environmental elements that may worsen your asthma and inform your doctor about them. Pet dander, dust mites, pollen, and cigarette smoke are just a few examples.
Your physician will check your ears and eyes as well as your nose, throat, skin, and lungs. Moreover, an X-ray of your sinuses or lungs may also be necessary.
Additionally, they’ll look for any symptoms of dyspnea, cough, or even the slightest wheezing. If you demonstrate an increased difficulty breathing or hyperinflation during the course of the physical exam, it may be an indication that you have asthma.
But if you are between episodes, the pulmonary exam might return average results.
Lung Function Tests
One or more lung function tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis of asthma by your doctor. The purpose of these tests is to measure the quality of your breathing.
During this test, your doctor will ask you to inhale into a bronchodilator before the test, which will open your airways. If using a bronchodilator significantly improves your lung function, you most likely have asthma. Additionally, your doctor may suggest that you try an asthma medication to see if it makes a difference.
Additional Tests For Other Conditions
Asthma diagnosis may also involve one or more of the following tests:
- Peak airflow
- Provocation tests
- FeNO tests (exhaled nitric oxide)
- CT scans of your sinuses
- Gastroesophageal reflux assessment
- X-ray or CT imaging of your chest
- Examination of the phlegm in your lungs
- Blood tests
It’s possible that your doctor will conduct allergy tests. The doctor can’t diagnose asthma through allergy tests. However, if you do have an allergy, it could possibly be causing your asthma.
Different Types Of Asthma
Asthma is classified into four types based on the severity of the illness. The severity of your asthma is determined by how frequently you experience symptoms and how well your lungs function.
Your doctor will ask you how often you feel discomfort and wake up in the middle of the night coughing or having difficulty breathing. They may also inquire as to how frequently you require a rescue inhaler or have trouble performing daily tasks.
- Intermittent Asthma: The frequency of your symptoms and the number of nights you wake up each month are both below two per month.
- Mild Persistent Asthma: You experience symptoms at least twice a week and wake up at least three times a month.
- Moderate Persistent Asthma: You wake up with symptoms at least one night a week.
- Severe Persistent Asthma: Inhaling and exhaling are both difficult for you because of your asthma.
Asthma diagnosis in children under the age of 5 is a little more complicated. Most children this young can’t sit through a breathing test. To diagnose asthma, the doctor asks about the patient’s symptoms and then prescribes a bronchodilator. Your child may have asthma if the bronchodilator reduces their symptoms.
Reach Out To The Asthma Specialists At Imperial Center Family Medicine
Asthma diagnosis can be tricky, so it’s best to rely on a healthcare expert who knows what to do. If you have been diagnosed with asthma or suspect you have it, reach out to the asthma management staff at Imperial Center Family Health to get help managing it. We can assist you in developing a treatment plan that relieves your symptoms and provides you with the best possible quality of life.