How Asthma Is Diagnosed And Treatment

How asthma is diagnosed physical examination for diagnosis physical exam will be performed by your doctor to rule out other possible conditions, such as a respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Asthma classification even if your initial lung function test is normal, this test may be used.

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Diagnosis: (How asthma is diagnosed)

  • Physical examination for how asthma is diagnosed

A physical exam will be performed by your doctor to rule out other possible conditions, such as a respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Your doctor will also inquire about your signs and symptoms and any other health issues.

Lung function examinations:

Lung function tests may be performed on you to determine how much air moves in and out of your lungs as you breathe. Among these tests are: How asthma is diagnosed

  • Spirometry: This test estimates bronchial tube narrowing by measuring how much air you can exhale after taking a deep breath and how quickly you can breathe out.
  • Maximum flow: A peak flow meter is a simple instrument that measures how hard you can exhale. Peak flow readings that are lower than usual indicate that your lungs are not working as well as they should and that your asthma is worsening. Your doctor will instruct you on how to monitor and deal with low peak flow readings.

Lung function tests are frequently performed before and after taking a bronchodilator (brong-koh-DIE-lay-tur), such as albuterol, to open your airways. If using a bronchodilator improves your lung function, you most likely have asthma.

Additional examinations:

Other asthma diagnostic tests include: How asthma is diagnosed

  • The methacholine test: Methacholine has been linked to asthma attacks. When inhaled, it causes a slight narrowing of the airways. If you have a reaction to methacholine, you most likely have asthma. Even if your initial lung function test is normal, this test may be used.
  • Imaging examinations:Β  A chest X-ray can aid in the detection of structural abnormalities or diseases (such as infection) that can cause or exacerbate breathing problems.
  • Testing for allergies:Β  A skin test or a blood test can be used to diagnose allergies. They determine whether you are allergic to pets, dust, mold, or pollen. Your doctor may recommend allergy shots if allergy triggers are identified.
  • Nitric oxide analysis: This test determines the amount of nitric oxide in your breath. When your airways are inflamed, which is a sign of asthma, your nitric oxide levels may be higher than normal. This examination is not widely available.
  • Eosinophils in the sputum: This test looks for specific white blood cells (eosinophils) in the saliva and mucus (sputum) that you cough up. When symptoms appear, eosinophils are present and can be seen when stained with a rose-colored dye.
  • Provocative testing for cold-induced asthma and exercise:Β Your doctor will measure your airway obstruction before and after you perform vigorous physical activity or take several deep breaths of cold air during these tests.
    Asthma classification



Long-term asthma control medications:

Long-term asthma control medications, usually taken on a daily basis, are the foundation of asthma treatment. These medications keep asthma under control on a daily basis and reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack. Long-term control medications include the following.

  • Corticosteroids are inhaled:Β  Fluticasone propionate (Flovent HFA, Flovent Diskus, Xhance), budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Respules, Rhinocort), ciclesonide (Alvesco), beclomethasone (Qvar Redihaler), mometasone (Asmanex HFA, Asmanex Twisthaler), and fluticasone furoate are examples of these medications (Arnuity Ellipta).

These medications may need to be used for several days to weeks before they provide their full benefit. In comparison to oral corticosteroids, inhaled corticosteroids have a low risk of serious side effects.

  • Modifiers of leukotrienes: These oral medications, which include montelukast (Singulair), zafirlukast (Accolate), and zileuton (Zyflo), aid in the relief of asthma symptoms.

Montelukast has been associated with agitation, aggression, hallucinations, depression, and suicidal ideation. If you have any of these reactions, seek medical attention right away.

  • Inhalers that work together: Fluticasone-salmeterol (Advair HFA, Airduo Digihaler, and others), budesonide-formoterol (Symbicort), formoterol-mometasone (Dulera), and fluticasone furoate-vilanterol (Breo Ellipta) are examples of medications that contain a long-acting beta agonist as well as a corticosteroid.
  • Theophylline. Theophylline (Theo-24, Elixophyllin, Theochron) is a daily pill that works by relaxing the muscles surrounding the airways. It is not as commonly used as other asthma medications and necessitates regular blood tests.

Short-term acting medicine:

During an asthma attack, quick-relief (rescue) medications are used as needed to provide immediate, short-term symptom relief. They can also be taken before exercise if your doctor suggests it. Quick-relief medications include the following:

  • Beta-agonists act quickly. These inhaled, quick-relief bronchodilators work quickly to relieve symptoms during an asthma attack. Albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, and others) and levalbuterol are examples (Xopenex, Xopenex HFA).

Short-acting beta agonists can be administered via a portable, hand-held inhaler or a nebulizer, which is a machine that converts asthma medications into a fine mist. They are inhaled through a mouthpiece or a face mask.

  • Anticholinergic medications: Ipratropium (Atrovent HFA) and tiotropium (Spiriva, Spiriva Respimat), like other bronchodilators, act quickly to relax your airways, making it easier to breathe. They are primarily used to treat emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but they can also be used to treat asthma.
  • Corticosteroids, both oral and intravenous: These medications, which include prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) and methylprednisolone (Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol), are used to treat severe asthmatic airway inflammation. Because they can have serious side effects when used long-term, these drugs are only used to treat severe asthma symptoms.

Allergy medications:

Allergy medications may be beneficial if your asthma is triggered or exacerbated by allergies. These are some examples:

  • Shots for allergies (immunotherapy). Allergy shots gradually reduce your immune system’s response to specific allergens. Shots are usually given once a week for a few months, then once a month for three to five years.
  • Biologics: These drugs, which include omalizumab (Xolair), mepolizumab (Nucala), dupilumab (Dupixent), reslizumab (Cinqair), and benralizumab (Fasenra), are only for people with severe asthma.
    Thermoplasty of the bronchi

This medication is used to treat severe asthma that has not responded to inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma medications. It is not widely available and is not suitable for everyone.

During bronchial thermoplasty, your doctor uses an electrode to heat the insides of the lungs’ airways. Heat relaxes the smooth muscle in the airways. This reduces the airways’ ability to constrict, making breathing easier and possibly reducing asthma attacks. The therapy is typically administered over three outpatient visits.

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