Asthma - Diagnosis & Treatment

How is asthma diagnosed?

To confirm an asthma diagnosis, your doctor will check your medical history and evaluate common symptoms such as frequent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or tightness in the chest.

Your doctor may also conduct:

  • Breathing tests
  • Allergy tests
  • Blood tests

If your doctor suspects you have asthma, they may use a medical device called a spirometer to check and measure how well your lungs are functioning.

How is asthma managed and treated?

Treatment usually involves inhalers and rarely oral medications (only in severe cases). There are 2 types of inhalers:

  • Relievers. It contains bronchodilators, a drug that can open your airway to allow more air to enter your lungs. It is taken as needed during an asthma attack or worsening asthma symptoms.
  • Preventers. It contains steroids to reduce airway inflammation in the long run, lowering the risk of recurrent asthma attacks and preventing further decline in lung function. It is often taken daily, but sometimes, people with mild asthma may take it as needed only when symptoms occur or before physical exercises.

Depending on the severity of your asthma, your doctor may prescribe only one or both inhalers with different dosages and frequencies of use.

A correct inhaler technique is fundamental in ensuring optimal asthma control. Therefore, your doctor might assess your inhaler technique during your follow-up sessions.

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