Diagnosing Asthma

Early diagnosis of asthma and proper treatment by a board-certified allergy and asthma specialist are important to help prevent damage to the lungs. Asthma is a chronic disease for which there is no cure.  It can only be controlled, and if left untreated, asthma can lead to a loss of lung function.

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

Our board-certified allergists will ask for a comprehensive medical history, including a history of asthma attacks or other asthma symptoms. Let them know how often and what time of day these symptoms occur.

In addition to a physical exam, where our doctors will listen to your breathing, they can use several diagnostic tests including, Spirometry and Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) testing.

Spirometry is a lung function test to assess how your lungs are working. This measures lung capacity by determining how much air you can inhale as well as how much and how fast you can breathe air out.

FeNO testing measures the concentration of nitric oxide in exhaled breath. A higher level of airway inflammation can be an underlying sign of asthma. FeNO testing can help lead to a diagnosis when other evidence is lacking.

What Triggers Asthma?

Many things can trigger asthma and the first step, when diagnosed, is to determine what triggers to avoid. Triggers could include smoke, stress, exercise or cold air. These are things that don’t bother most people, but for those with asthma, they can make inflamed lungs even worse.

How are Asthma and Allergies Related?

Many people who have asthma also have allergies. In most cases, allergies trigger asthma symptoms or an asthma attack. This “allergic asthma” is the most common form of asthma. For this reason, allergy skin testing is also performed to help determine allergy triggers.

Don’t wait any longer to get a medical diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. If you think you or a family member may suffer from asthma, schedule an appointment right away.