Asthma in Teens and Adults (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
A diagnosis of asthma is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and lung function tests. If you developed asthma in adulthood, your doctor will ask about your job to figure out whether you have occupational asthma.
You need to monitor your condition and have regular checkups to keep asthma under control and to review and possibly update your asthma action plan. Checkups are recommended every 1 to 6 months, depending on how well your asthma is controlled.
During checkups, your doctor will ask whether your symptoms and peak expiratory flow have held steady, improved, or become worse and will ask about asthma attacks during exercise or at night. You track this information in an asthma diary. You may be asked to bring your peak expiratory flow meter to an appointment so your doctor can see how you use it. Based on the results, your asthma category may change, and your doctor may change the medicines you use or how much medicine you use.
Tests for other diseases
Asthma sometimes is hard to diagnose, because symptoms vary widely from person to person and within each person over time. Symptoms may be the same as those of other conditions, such as influenza or other viral respiratory infections or vocal cord dysfunction. Tests done to determine whether diseases other than asthma are causing your symptoms include the following:
Tests to identify triggers
If you have persistent asthma and take medicine every day, your doctor may ask about your exposure to substances (allergens) that cause an allergic reaction. For more information about the following tests, see the topic Allergic Rhinitis.
Allergy tests include:
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