There are several key tests to diagnose asthma used by Doctors. Some tests, for example, a test of pulmonary functions, determine the performance of the lungs. Other tests determine whether your body is sensitive to certain types of foods, pollen or other particles (ie do you have any allergies). A blood test can give an overall picture of the condition of the body. Specific tests are used to determine the level of immunoglobulin E, the main antibodies produced by the body during an allergic reaction. Every person in the body has these antibodies, but a person with an allergy has a lot more of them.
Tests to Diagnose Asthma
All of the above tests help the doctor determine if the symptoms are a sign of asthma or some other comorbid illness, such as allergies and asthma, GERD and asthma or sinusitis and asthma. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, the doctor prescribes medication that will help manage the symptoms of asthma and prevent seizures.
Pulmonary function test
The pulmonary function test is a test that assesses lung function. The two most common tests are spirometry and a test with a load of methacholine.
Spirometry is a simple test that measures lung volume and maximum expiratory flow. It is often used to determine the blocking of the airways. A test with methacholine load is used if the symptoms and results of spirometry do not provide an opportunity to make an accurate diagnosis. Which test is best suited to your situation – the attending physician will determine.
Although chest x-ray is a method not only used to diagnose asthma but to confirm that the symptoms are caused only by asthma and no other diseases. X-ray is an image of the body, which is obtained due to a small dose of radiation, reflected on a special film or fluorescent screen. Radiography is used to diagnose a wide range of diseases, ranging from bronchitis and ending with a broken bone. A doctor can prescribe an X-ray to inspect the interior of the chest, including the heart, lungs, and bones. According to the results of the X-ray, the doctor can determine whether your symptoms are caused by asthma or not.
Heartburn and GERB
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or what is also called GERD, is another disease that can exacerbate asthma symptoms. If the doctor suspected the presence of such a disease, then he can recommend passing certain tests.
Tests for an allergic reaction
Tests for testing the allergic reaction are necessary to determine the allergens that cause asthma exacerbation.
Examination of nasal sinuses
Nasal polyps or sinusitis can significantly worsen asthma symptoms and slow the treatment. Sinusitis, which is also called an infection of the nasal sinuses, is an inflammation or swelling of the sinuses as a result of infection. When the sinuses are blocked and filled with fluid, the bacteria begin to develop, spreading the infection and causing inflammation. The attending physician may recommend passing a special x-ray of the nasal sinuses, called a CT scanner, to examine the sinuses for infections. If diagnosed with acute sinusitis, then antibiotic treatment is prescribed for a period of 10-12 days. Treatment of sinusitis can prevent further exacerbation of asthma.
Determination of the severity of asthma
Based on the symptoms of asthma and the test results, the doctor diagnoses asthma. The next stage – the doctor determines the severity of asthma, which will help to make the right treatment program. There are 4 main types of asthma.
Light intermittent asthma.Symptoms worsen less than twice a week, exacerbation or asthma attacks are rare, attacks of nocturnal asthma are infrequent. (Some specific results of pulmonary function tests are also characteristic).
Light persistent asthma.
Symptoms occur more than twice a week, but less than once a day. Asthma attacks affect the daily activity of a person. Attacks of nocturnal asthma happen more than 2 times a month. (Some specific results of the pulmonary function test are also characteristic.)
Moderate persistent asthma.
Symptoms worsen daily, and attacks of nocturnal asthma – more than once a week. Symptoms of asthma affect physical activity and can last for several days. In addition, such people need a daily intake of fast-acting drugs. (Some specific results of the pulmonary function test are also characteristic.)
Acute persistent asthma.
Symptoms are manifested constantly, not excluding night time, during sleep, physical activity is limited, frequent attacks of asthma. (Some specific results of the pulmonary function test are also characteristic.)