Asthma diagnosis process includes gathering family and medical history, a physical exam and different test results. Diagnosis will determine the further treatment of asthma, which may also depend on the severity of the condition.
Asthma diagnosis is very important in order to receive proper treatment, and may sometimes be challenging if the signs aren’t clear. Some diseases mimic the symptoms of asthma, which is an additional difficulty in the proper diagnosis.
When you talk to the doctor about your symptoms, make sure you answer the questions as accurately as possible. Pay attention to the signs and remember when your symptoms appear (morning, night), while you’re exercising or at work, what months of the year; how severe your symptoms are and other significant details.
Asthma diagnosis – Spirometry:
Spirometry is an important test for asthma diagnosis, and it is used to check how well the lungs function. A spirometer is used to measure inhalations and exhalations. When exhaling, the air should be expelled forcefully. If there is an obstruction in the air flow, that is a sign of asthma.
Asthma diagnosis – Peak flow rate measurement:
Peak flow rate measurement is a test where a peak flow meter is used to check the lung capacity. A deep breath is taken and then blown out hard into the meter. These devices can also be used at home, to monitor the management of asthma.
Asthma diagnosis – Methacholine challenge test:
Methacholine challenge test consist of taking an agent (Methacholine) which causes the airways to narrow down if asthma is present in the body. After this has been done, spirometry may be used to measure the air flow and volume.