Exercise-Induced Asthma (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
If you are having an asthma attack, your health-care professional (whether your primary-care provider or an emergency-department physician) will ask you questions about your symptoms, medical history, and medications. Answer as completely as you can. He or she will also examine you and observe you as you breathe.
He or she will assess the severity of the attack. Attacks are usually classified as mild, moderately severe, or severe. This assessment is based on several factors.
If you have had symptoms and are seeking medical care afterward, the health-care professional will ask questions and perform tests to search for and rule out or exclude other causes of the symptoms. The evaluation will almost certainly include tests of how well you can breathe at rest and may include tests during exertion. These tests are done at rest, after six to eight minutes of exercise, and then at regular intervals until at least 30 minutes after you have stopped exercising. Proper diagnosis is essential to ensure that the most appropriate treatment is given.
Measurements of how well you are breathing can be assessed using the following methods:
No blood test 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.
In many instances, the history is the most important clue to the diagnosis of exercise-induced asthma. Oftentimes, armed with this information, the health-care professional will empirically trial a medication for exercise-induced asthma. Follow-up visits will then determine if this medication was effective in reducing the symptoms associated with exercise.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/2/2014
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