Diagnosis of Asthma

Diagnosis of Asthma

The diagnosis of asthma is based on clinical symptoms and lung function test

Asthma Diagnosis is based on the history, physical examination, and lung function test. Sometimes asthma diagnosis may be difficult particularly in the pediatric population. Whether diagnosis of asthma is confirmed or not, if features suggestive of asthma must be treated.


The diagnosis of asthma is based on clinical symptoms.

If someone has asthma his airways become swollen and the muscles around the airways can tighten due to inflammation of the airways.

This swelling and tightening of muscles around the airways lead to difficulty for air to move in and out of the lungs, causing classical symptoms of asthma. 

These includes

  • Coughing,
  • Wheezing,
  • Shortness of breath and/or chest tightness.

Symptoms of asthma are often worse at night or in the early morning times and during walking. Triggers like by allergens, cold air, viral infections, exercise, and laughter can aggravate symptoms of asthma.

Lung function test:

Spirometry is an objective and reproducible test to determine the lung function. In this test the patient needs to take a deep breath and then suddenly blow into a sensor to measure the amount of air in the lungs can hold and the speed of the air you inhale or exhale. The diagnosis of asthma is can be made by demonstrating the presence of reversible airway obstruction. This test diagnoses asthma along with the severity of asthma.

A spirometer is a machine which records the parameters.

A spirometer is useful to obtain the following:

  • Asthma diagnosis
  • Check the severity of asthma
  • See if your asthma is getting worse
  • To see whether your asthma is getting better with treatment.

Most adults and children over 6 years of age can do the spirometry test correctly.

Steps of spirometry:

  • Sit upright in a chair.
  • Breathe in completely and rapidly.
  • Place the spirometer mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips to form a tight seal.
  • Breathe out as hard and fast and as long as possible.
  • Breathe in completely and rapidly again
  • Remove the mouthpiece

At least three standard reading is necessary to interpret the result.

Sometimes it required the test is done after taking ‘reliever’ medicine

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