Did you know that as many as 1 in 3 people in the United States have asthma? The condition accounts for approximately 11 million physician visits and 1.7 million ER visits every year, according to the statistical data gathered by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI).
If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from asthma, it’s imperative to seek proper evaluation. Getting timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial for preventing quality-of-life issues and severe complications, such as respiratory failure and other problems requiring hospitalization.
In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the tests your doctor may use to diagnose asthma and develop a suitable treatment plan for you.
Lung Function Tests
As the name suggests, these tests determine how well your lungs function (i.e., how much air moves in and out as you breathe). These tests include the following:
- Spirometry – This lung function test checks how much air you can exhale after a deep breath and how fast you can breathe out.
- Peak flow – This test involves the use of a device called a peak flow meter, which measures how hard you can breathe out. Low peak flow readings could be indicative of airway narrowing or constriction – a hallmark of asthma.
Other Tests That Help with Asthma Diagnosis
Your doctor may also order the following tests to help confirm the diagnosis:
- Imaging tests – Imaging tests, such as chest X-rays, can identify potential signs of infection or structural abnormality, which can cause breathing problems.
- Methacholine challenge – This test gauges your reaction to methacholine, a known asthma trigger. Methacholine challenge may be used even if your lung function tests are normal.
- Nitric oxide test – This test measures the amount of nitric oxide in your breath. People with asthma have a higher-than-normal amount of nitric oxide in their breath.
- Provocative testing – This test determines if you have exercise-induced or cold-induced asthma. During the test, your doctor may have you perform a certain exercise or breathe in cold air and then have you take a spirometry test to see if your airways react.
Asthma Treatment near Me in Will County and DuPage County, IL
Asthma can be life-threatening without proper and timely intervention. Fortunately, with the expertise and extensive experience of our allergy doctors here at Oak Brook Allergists, you can count on them to help you keep your wheezes, coughs, and breathing problems at bay. Our providers are a part of countless testimonials of asthma sufferers who are now breathing well and living well despite their condition.