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Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment
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If you go to the emergency department for an asthma attack, the health care provider will first assess how severe the attack is. Attacks are usually classified as mild, moderate, or severe. This assessment is based on several factors:
Mild and moderate attacks usually involve the following symptoms, which may come on gradually:
Severe attacks are less common. They may involve the following symptoms:
If you are able to speak, the health-care provider will ask you questions about your symptoms, your medical history, and your medications. Answer as completely as you can. He or she will also examine you and observe you as you breathe.
If this is your first attack, or the first time you have sought medical attention for your symptoms, the health-care provider will ask questions and perform tests to search for and rule out other causes of the symptoms.
Measurements of how well you are breathing include the following:
There is no blood test than can pinpoint the cause of asthma.
A chest X-ray may also be taken. This is mostly to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms.
Since asthma is a chronic disease, treatment goes on for a very long time. Some people have to stay on treatment for the rest of their lives. The best way to improve your condition and live your life on your terms is to learn all you can about your asthma and what you can do to make it better.
These are the goals of treatment:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/13/2015
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