Testing & Diagnosis

The first step in managing your asthma is getting an accurate diagnosis.

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Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. People with asthma have acute episodes where the air passages in their lungs get narrower, and breathing becomes more difficult. Sometimes episodes of asthma are triggered by allergens, although infection, exercise, cold air and other factors are also important triggers." rel="tooltip">Asthmadoesn’t have to hold you back. Just ask Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Not only did the Olympian win three gold medals between 1988 and 1992, she also set five world records and was named the greatest female athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. And she did it all while suffering with asthma. If you suspect you may haveasthma, don’t let it keep you from your goals. And don’t feel like you have to face it alone. Teaming up with an allergist is the secret to successfully managing your condition. An allergist can evaluate your symptoms, make or confirm an asthma diagnosis and help you create a plan to manage your condition so you can live life to the fullest. Together, you and your allergist can form your own world-class team!

Do you want to find a reason for the coughing and wheezing?

It’s time for an allergist.

Asthma Life Quality (LQ) Test

Before you go to your allergist appointment, consider completing this Asthma Life Quality (LQ) Test. This 20-question test can be a valuable tool for giving your allergist an accurate picture of your asthma and the ways it’s affecting you. With this information, you can work together and start to create an asthma action plan that truly makes a difference. The 20 yes-or-no questions on the LQ Test cover issues such as:
  • When I walk, or do simple chores, I have trouble breathing or Icough.
  • When I catch a cold, it often goes to my chest.
  • My哮喘药物doesn’t control my asthma.
Download the test, fill it out and bring the questionnaire to your next appointment with your allergist. The evaluation should shed light on how well yourasthma symptomsare controlled. Bottom line: You don’t have to accept less because you have asthma. Anyone with asthma should be able to feel good, be active all day and sleep well at night.

Your First Appointment

Your first step toward relief is toschedule an appointmentwith an allergist to receive a proper diagnosis. Your allergist will evaluate several things before making an asthma diagnosis, and it’s nice to know what to expect. At your first appointment, one of your allergist’s goals will be to learn a little bit more about you and your symptoms: Do you have a family history ofasthma? Is there a particular time of day or year that yoursymptomstend to flare? Have you triedmedications? From there, the allergist may also try to get a sense of factors in your day-to-day life that could be sparking your symptoms: Do you live with apet? Do you tend tocoughmore in cold weather? Do you live with someone who smokes? Your allergist will then conduct a physical exam of your chest, eyes, ears, nose and throat. Your allergist will look for signs of congestion, wheezing and skin rashes, which can help determine if your asthma symptoms are being triggered by an underlyingAllergies are inappropriate or exaggerated reactions of the immune system to substances that, in the majority of people, cause no symptoms. Symptoms of the allergic diseases may be caused by exposure of the skin to a chemical, of the respiratory system to particles of dust or pollen (or other substances), or of the stomach and intestines to a particular food." rel="tooltip">allergy.

Asthma Testing

One of the most common ways to test for asthma is to use a spirometer – a small instrument that measures the amount of air you can breathe in and out. It’s a simple, safe test that helps measure how well your lungs are working. You’ll be asked to breathe in until your lungs are full. You’ll then blow the air out into a hollow tube as hard and as fast as possible. The tube is attached to a device that measures how much air you’re able to hold in your lungs and detects whether anything is obstructing your airways. Once you’ve taken the test once or twice, your allergist may have you use an inhaler. You will then blow into the spirometer again to determine whether the inhaler medication improved your lung function. The allergist may also suggest a skin test, blood test or chest X-ray. These tests give your allergist more information to work with to help you get your asthma under control.

Asthma Diagnosis

Your allergist will look at yoursymptomsand family history, as well as the results of your physical exam and asthma testing, to determine if you have asthma. There are many different types of asthma, and each type can range from mild to moderate to severe. If you receive an asthma diagnosis, don’t worry: Your allergist can work with you to build a plan to control your symptoms and live the life you want. Asthma is not a disability. With the right treatment, there’s no reason you can’t live life exactly as you would without this condition – sports, hiking, playing with your kids. You can have it all, as long as you get diagnosed and keep up with yourtreatment. Thetreatment plandeveloped by your allergist will address all your symptoms and will likely include at least one of the following:
  • Identifying and then avoiding the specific triggers (such as tobacco smoke orpet dander) that bring on your symptoms
  • Medication, either over-the-counter or prescription
  • Allergy immunotherapy(a highly effective preventive treatment that can help theThe immune system is a collection of cells and proteins that works to protect the body from potentially harmful, infectious microorganisms (microscopic life-forms), such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. The immune system plays a role in the control of cancer and other diseases, but also is the culprit in the phenomena of allergies, hypersensitivity and the rejection of transplanted organs, tissues and medical implants." rel="tooltip">immune systembecome less sensitive to triggers such aspollen, pet fur andhouse dust)

What are you waiting for? If you suspect you have asthma, it’s time tofind an allergist, get diagnosed and get treatment. Life is waiting for you!

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