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Asthma Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Self-limited exercise, difficulty keeping up with peers

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical exam:

Tests may include:

  • Peak flow examination—blowing quickly and forcefully into a special instrument that measures your output of air
  • Pulmonary function tests (PFTs)—breathing into a machine that records information about the function of your lungs
  • Bronchoprovocation tests—lung function tests performed after exposure to methacholine, histamine, or cold or dry air to stimulate asthma; can help to confirm asthma in unclear cases
  • Exhaled nitric oxide (a marker of airway inflammation)—to suggest the diagnosis and manage medications
  • Allergy tests —usually skin or sometimes blood tests to find out if allergies may be contributing to the symptoms

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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