Are you suffering with chronic asthma? Doctors look for characteristic symptoms which can include wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
When symptoms fail to establish the diagnosis of chronic asthma, doctors use spirometry testing.
Identifying the trigger is often most difficult than initial diagnosis.
The person can develop asthma attack when using household cleaning product, cosmetics or perfumes.
Chronic asthma diagnosis:
Diagnosis includes family history of asthma, hay fever, eczema and allergies. Children have greater chances of developing the above symptoms if there is a family history of allergies and asthma.
Physical examination includes listening to the lungs with stethoscope and examination of nasal passages.
Allergy prick skin testing can confirm a presence or absence of allergies. But, they must be correlated o the history of symptoms shown.
Chest x-ray is taken to exclude the chances of breathing problems being caused by something other than chronic asthma.
Exercise challenge tests and methacholine inhalation tests are performed most often in clinical laboratories to assess airway responsiveness.
Spirometry test should be conducted but it should not be used for children who are less than five years old. It is a good method for asthma diagnosis. Chronic asthma is confirmed by performing a spirometry test.
Shortness of breath, cough, wheezing and tightness in the chest should be ruled out. These symptoms also include for illnesses such as heart disease, gastro esophageal reflux and other lung conditions.
If you are taking asthma medications and the condition has improved with medications, it can support diagnosis of chronic asthma.
Exercise test should be conducted especially on children. Child is allowed to run on a treadmill for six minutes which increases the heart rate above 160 beats per minute.
Histamine test is conducted to find the presence of airway hyper responsiveness which is a feature found in many chronic asthma patients. It can be useful in people whose main symptom is cough.
Blood and sputum tests should be conducted as individuals with asthma often have an increase in the number of eosinophils in peripheral blood. Presence of large number of eosinophils in the sputum is a more useful diagnostic tool.
Peak expiratory flow chart is used for measurement on waking, prior to taking a bronchodilator medication and before bed after a bronchodilator is very useful in demonstrating the variable airflow limitations characterizing chronic asthma.
For long term evaluation of the disease, it is useful. Peak flow should be measured for several days. It should be particularly used on weekend or holiday to find out whether the sufferer’s exposure to work environment is the cause.
If you have severe airflow restriction, you should undergo trials of steroids. 30mg of prednisolone is orally given daily for two weeks with lung function measured before and immediately after the course.
If there is a significant improvement in the condition, this type of treatment can be given to chronic asthma sufferer.