How Asthma is Diagnosed

Health Care
Thursday, October 06, 2022
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Your doctor will use a variety of methods to determine if you have asthma. A doctor needs to pinpoint your condition as asthma and no other lung condition. Here’s how: 
  • Medical history [1] 

Your doctor will normally start by asking you a few questions about your medical history. This involves asking about your: 

  • Current symptoms like chest tightness, cough, breathlessness, etc.  
  • History of allergies  
  • Relatives with lung conditions 
  • Your symptom triggers like cold weather, fur, haze, etc.  

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  • Physical examinations [2] 

Additionally, your doctor may employ a variety of physical tests. Your doctor will listen to your breathing, take blood tests and test for evidence of allergies, to rule out any other conditions.  

  • Spirometry [3] 

Spirometry is the common test to diagnose asthma in individuals. In a spirometry test, the volume of exhaled air during a forced breath is measured.  

From this test, your doctor can diagnose obstructive lung conditions like asthma, determine medicine effectiveness and check if your lung function is getting worse. A lower volume of exhaled air can indicate your airways are swollen or constricted.  

  • Peak flow meter [4] 

A peak flow meter is not commonly used to diagnose asthma but monitors its progression. This device measures how fast you can forcefully exhale air after a deep breath.  

As part of your asthma action plan, your doctor may include a peak flow meter to help monitor the state of your asthma. 

Talk to your doctor if you have any further questions.  

Are you currently using an inhaler? For the rest of 2022, get a FREE asthma control check at any BIG Pharmacy outlet today! Act now before it's too late! 

References 

  1. Physical Exam to Diagnose Asthma | AAFA.org. (2017). from https://www.aafa.org/physical-exam-diagnose-asthma/ 
  1. Malaysian Health Technology Assessment Section (MaHTAS). (2017). Management of Asthma in Adults [Ebook] (p. 23). Retrieved from https://www.moh.gov.my/moh/resources/Penerbitan/CPG/Respiratory/CPG%20Management%20of%20Asthma%20in%20Adults.pdf 
  1. NHS. (2021). Spirometry. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/spirometry/#:~:text=Spirometry%20is%20a%20simple%20test,a%20cable%20to%20a%20mouthpiece. 
  1. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. (2020). Peak Flow Meter | AAAAI. Retrieved 4 October 2022, from https://www.aaaai.org/Tools-for-the-Public/Conditions-Library/Asthma/Peak-Flow-Meter 

 

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