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How To Be Diagnosed With Asthma

What Is An Asthma Attack

Diagnosing Asthma: Mild, Moderate, and Severe

When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily and quietly. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:

  • Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes your airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
  • Inflammation: The lining of your airways becomes swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of your lungs.
  • Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.

When your airways get tighter, you make a sound called wheezing when you breathe, a noise your airways make when you breathe out. You might also hear an asthma attack called an exacerbation or a flare-up. Its the term for when your asthma isnt controlled.

How To Perform A Pef

Before doing a home lung function test, to measure your PEF, remove any food, gum, and excess saliva from your mouth, as such obstructions could interfere with the efficiency of the test. Also check the peak flow meter for obstructions or foreign objects, then follow these eight simple steps to effectively perform the test.

  • Set your peak flow meter to zero, or the bottom of the scale.
  • Attach the mouthpiece to the peak flow meter.
  • Stand up to guarantee you get a deep breath. Stay standing and do not move throughout the test so your results are not affected by a change in position.
  • Take a deep breath in and place the peak flow meter mouthpiece closely and tightly around your lips. Do not put your tongue inside the mouthpiece.
  • Breathe out as forcefully as you can, using a huff-like motion, for no longer than one second.
  • Write down the reading on the gauge.
  • Place the peak flow meter back to zero before blowing again.
  • Repeat the blowing and recording process two more times. Go again if you cough or experience any other complications.
  • After blowing into the peak flow meter a total of three times, record your highest value for the day. If instructed, also record the other readings.

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    Asthma Diagnosis In Children

    Asthma is a clinical diagnosis. However, there are some tests that can be used to help support a diagnosis of asthma, depending on the age of the child and the clinical situation. To diagnose asthma, your childs health care provider may recommend these tests:

    • Spirometry. A spirometer is a device used to check lung function. It can typically be done starting around age 5.
    • Peak flow monitoring. A peak flow meter is used to measure the amount of air a child can blow out of the lungs. This measurement can be helpful in some, particularly older, children.
    • Chest X-rays. This diagnostic test uses invisible energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones and organs on film. This can help rule out other conditions that appear similar to asthma, but may appear normal if the child has asthma.
    • Allergy tests. Allergy tests can help identify triggers for asthma, but are not themselves diagnostic of asthma.

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    Why Do Doctors Use Tests For Asthma

    Asthma tests help to diagnose and monitor asthma. They can also show how your lungs respond to asthma medicine.

    Symptoms of asthma, like cough, breathlessness, and wheeze can also be caused by other conditions too. Once your doctor has looked at your symptoms, triggers, and your family and clinical history, asthma tests are the best way to confirm or rule out asthma.

    As well as the tests listed here, there are some other tests which asthma specialists might use to help diagnose and monitorsevere asthma.

    Most asthma tests are suitable for adults, young people, and children over five. Not everyone will need to do all of these tests.

    However, some children over five may not be able to do the tests well enough yet.If so, your GP will continue to treat their symptoms and keep an eye on them.

    They can then try doing tests again in about six months or a year. Find out more aboutgetting a diagnosis for your child.

    You may need to do tests more than once

    Asthma symptoms can vary over time. So, if one test comes back normal, it doesnt completely rule out asthma. It could just mean that on the day of the test your airways were not as narrow and inflamed.

    You may need to do some tests more than once, or a few different tests, to help your GP make the right diagnosis.

    What Causes An Asthma Attack

    Free #Asthma Diagnosis Study Chart

    Children with asthma have airways that are sensitive and react to certain triggers.

    Some children have asthma all year round. Others may only have it in certain seasons or situations.

    Triggers which cause an asthma attack include:

    • viruses for example, a cold, with a runny nose
    • things people are allergic to such as pollens, moulds, pet hair and dust-mites
    • cold or humid weather, or a change in the weather
    • emotions such as anxiety and excitement
    • air pollutants, such as cigarette smoke

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    How To Know If Your Dog Has Asthma

    The symptoms of asthma in dogs are similar to those of humans. They can include:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Smoke from cigarettes, pipes, cigars, or vaping

    If someone in your household smokes, you should ask them to do so outside away from your dog to help prevent an asthma attack.

    If your dog spends time at boarding facilities, your veterinarian may recommend they receive a vaccine for kennel cough. Learn more about vaccinations for dogs.

    Pharmacological Management Stepwise Approach

    Refer to Table 2. Initiating inhalers stepwise approach to treatment

    Initial Treatment:

    • Choose step based on assessment of asthma control and patients preference .
    • Aim to have the patient at the lowest step needed for asthma control.

    Step up:

    • Consider if symptoms not routinely controlled or if patient continues to have recurrent asthma attacks at current step.
    • Before stepping up, confirm the diagnosis, review patients self-management education and lifestyle/environmental modifications and ensure medication adherence and correct inhaler technique.

    Step down:

    • Consider stepping down if symptoms are controlled for 3 months and risk of asthma attack is low.

    Table 2. Initiating inhalers stepwise approach to treatment

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    Treating Acute Loss Of Asthma Control5

    1. Assess the severity of the asthma attack:

    • Severe life-threatening: While arranging urgent transfer to an acute care facility treat the patient with short-acting beta2-agonists , controlled oxygen and oral corticosteroids .
    • Mild-moderate: treat in the primary care setting .

    2. Goals of treatment:

    • Identify and address the cause of the asthma attack, and
    • Reduce risk of relapse by reviewing and adjusting maintenance treatment plan.

    3. Treatment steps:

    What Are Other Conditions A Doctor Might Test For In Someone With Asthma

    Asthma – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

    There are some medical conditions that might make asthma harder to treat and control. Two of these conditions are sinusitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly called GERD and known as heartburn. If you are diagnosed with asthma, your doctor might also test you for these conditions so that they can be treated.

    Sinusitis, also called sinus infection, is an inflammation or swelling of the sinuses due to infection. When the sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, bacteria grow, causing infection and inflammation. Your doctor might order a special X-ray, called a CT scan, to evaluate your sinuses if he or she suspects an infection. Once acute sinusitis is diagnosed, you will be treated with antibiotics for at least 10 to 12 days.

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    Approach To Asthma Diagnosis

    Asthma should be suspected in patients with recurrent respiratory symptoms, particularly cough, wheeze, chest tightness and dyspnea. Alternative diagnoses should be excluded. An objective lung function test such as spirometry can be used to confirm airway obstruction and to demonstrate reversibility of obstruction with bronchodilator medication.

    Can You Help Your Child Outgrow Allergies

    Yes, although technically, the process is called immunotherapy. If you need help managing your childs allergies, immunotherapy can help reduce the severity and intensity of your childs reactions.

    Immunotherapy, sometimes called allergy shots, is the process by which we inject a very small amount of the allergen. The body learns to tolerate the allergen over time. Again, its a very small amount, but over the years, your child can experience fewer allergy symptoms.

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    Can Asthma Be Cured

    There is currently no known cure for asthma, but with proper diagnosis and asthma management it is fully possible for people with asthma to live healthy, active and symptom-free lives.

    There is still much research that needs to be done to fully understand how to prevent, treat and cure asthma. Asthma Canadas National Research Program is committed to supporting leading asthma researchers and graduate student researchers working to expand our knowledge and one day, unlock a cure.

    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

    Asthma triggers make it harder to control asthma

    As with asthma, people with COPD may experience coughing and shortness of breath.

    But morning coughing with phlegm is more characteristic of COPD. In contrast, asthma tends to cause worsening symptoms at night, and may be accompanied by wheezing and tightness in your chest.

    Its also possible to have both asthma and COPD. Contact a doctor if youre experiencing symptoms of either condition.

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    The Aftermath Of A Car Accident

    Some people are lucky and survive motor vehicle collusions with few to no injuries. However, it is best to prepare for the worst just in case it comes to pass. The most common injuries stemming from car accidents are those to the head and neck. When a car, motorcycle, or truck comes to an abrupt stop, drivers and passengers can easily strike their heads against steering wheels, dashboards, projectiles, and even windshields. Traumatic brain injuries often result, and while some may be temporary concussions, those who survive car accidents can still suffer lasting cognitive damage. Whiplash, the ligament and muscle damage that occurs in the neck when the head is jerked back and forth, is also common.

    Other injuries that follow car accidents include trauma to the spinal cord, which can lead to permanent nerve damage herniated disks, caused by displaced cartilage in the spinal column tears in the anterior cruciate ligament broken bones and even collapsed lungs. All these injuries can be a burden to overcome, and it is important to document every last detail. This way, your Houston car accident attorney will be better able to help you receive necessary health insurance coverage.

    Breathing Problems During Exercise

    If you have chest tightness, cough, wheeze or shortness of breath during exercise, your doctor may perform extra tests to see if you have a type of asthma called, exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm. For some people, they will only have asthma symptoms during exercise. There are many benefits to exercise, so work with your doctor to find the best management steps and treatment options for you.

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    Which Children Are At Risk For Asthma

    Certain factors raise the risk of asthma in children:

    • Being exposed to secondhand smoke when their mother is pregnant with them or when they are small children
    • Genetics and family history. Children are more likely to have asthma if one of their parents has it, especially if its the mother.
    • Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
    • Having other medical conditions such as allergies and obesity
    • Often having viral respiratory infections as young children
    • Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens, it is more common in girls.

    Diagnosis Of Asthma In Childhood Age

    Diagnosing Asthma: Mild, Moderate and Severe

    Ibrahim A Ali1*, Elia Adil Nabih2 and Ahmed MS Eltohami2

    1Faculty of Medicine, The National Ribat University, Sudan2Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan

    *Address for Correspondence: Dr. Ibrahim A Ali, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, The National Ribat University, Sudan, Tel: 249912377276 Email: hemamedicine@gmail.com

    Dates:Submitted: 27 August 2018 Approved: 12 September 2018 13 September 2018

    How to cite this article: Ali IA, Nabih EA, Eltohami AMS. Diagnosis of Asthma in Childhood Age. Arch Asthma Allergy Immunol. 2018 2: 008-012. DOI: 10.29328/journal.aaai.1001012

    Copyright:© 2018 Ali IA, et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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    Preparing For Your Appointment

    You can get the most out of your time with your healthcare provider by planning carefully before you go.

    Things you can do to prepare for your appointments include bringing:

    • A list of your most recent symptoms, including notes about whether theyve changed since your last visit.
    • A record of your recent peak flow meter readings or symptom diary records.
    • Your Asthma Action Plan so that you and your healthcare provider can develop a plan. If you already have one, then bring it in case it needs to be modified.
    • Your inhaler to review your technique.
    • A list of any questions you have. For example, you might ask: What makes my asthma worse? Is it okay to keep playing a sport? What should I do if I have an asthma attack?

    When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Eib

    If you or your child has symptoms of exercise or sports-induced asthma, call your provider. Several conditions have symptoms that are similar to EIB. Its essential to get evaluated.

    If you or your child has severe shortness of breath or trouble breathing, seek immediate medical attention. Call 911 or go directly to the emergency room.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Many people with exercise-induced asthma play sports, enjoy a range of activities and live an active lifestyle. People of all fitness levels, including Olympic athletes and marathon runners, manage asthma and excel at their sports. If you or your child has EIB, be sure to include a warmup routine before exercise. Keep an eye on pollen counts and air quality before you head outside. Talk to your provider about medications that can help you breathe easier. With lifestyle changes and prior planning, you can stay active and exercise safely.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/17/2021.

    References

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    If You Have Asthma Your Diagnosis Will Include Severity Of Your Condition

    If you have asthma, your follow-up treatment and long-term prognosis can vary significantly depending on the severity of your condition, its cause, your overall health, and many other variables.

    When it comes to the severity of asthma, doctors usually break asthma down into four categories:

    • Mild Intermittent Your asthma symptoms show up less than twice a week, and you wake up on fewer than two nights a month because of your symptoms.
    • Mild Persistent You have symptoms two or more days each week, and you wake up three to four nights a month.
    • Moderate Persistent You have symptoms every day, and you wake up one or more nights a week.
    • Severe Persistent You have symptoms during the day, every day, and you wake up every night due to asthma.

    Depending on the severity of your asthma, treatments could range from inhalers to oral or intravenous corticosteroid medication or even surgery.

    Its important to note that asthma can either be severe because symptoms are persistent all the time or because symptoms are difficult to control either the individual has problems adhering to treatment and symptoms go mismanaged or because symptoms are so severe that even with medication and other treatments, symptoms are difficult to control.

    Treatment For Asthma Emergencies In Children

    Asthma Diagnosis: The Changing Face of Guidelines

    An asthma attack can quickly become an asthma emergency, but if you take quick action, you can reduce the risk of this happening. So, if the symptoms of an asthma attack appear, follow your childs asthma action plan.

    If your child is experiencing a severe or life-threatening asthma attack, call triple zero for an ambulance and then start asthma first aid.:

    • Sit the child upright.
    • Give 4 puffs of reliever medication , taking 4 breaths for each puff. Use a spacer and mask if one is available.
    • Wait 4 minutes if the child still cannot breathe normally, give 4 more puffs.
    • Continue to give 4 separate puffs of reliever medication, taking 4 breaths for each puff, every 4 minutes until the ambulance arrives.

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    What Is Asthma In Children

    Asthma is a long-term lung disease that causes your childs airways to become sensitive to certain things . Several things happen to the airways when a child is exposed to triggers:

    • The lining of the airways swells.
    • The muscles around the airways tighten.
    • The airways make more thick mucus than normal.

    All of these things will cause the airways to narrow. This makes it difficult for air to go in and out of your childs lungs, and leads to the symptoms of asthma.

    How To Tell If You Have Asthma

    Asthma is a respiratory condition caused by inflammation and constriction of the airways. Its a long-term condition that requires lifelong management and treatment to help prevent symptoms and reduce your chances of having an asthma attack.

    But how do you know for sure if you have asthma? If youre experiencing a cough or shortness of breath, learn what differentiates asthma from other respiratory conditions and how a doctor can confirm a diagnosis, so you can get the right treatment for your symptoms.

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    Some People Experience Unusual Asthma Attack Symptoms

    Response from Lorene Alba, AE-C

    ItÃâs important to pay attention to your body for these often-subtle warning signs. My chin itches before I have an asthma episode, usually a day or two before. Other warning signs can be restless sleep, feeling tired or moody, having a stuffy nose, or clearing your throat. A drop in your peak flow meter reading is also a warning sign peak flow meters often show your asthma worsening before you begin to feel symptoms.

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