Your doctor will assess important aspects of your lifestyle, personal and medical history. You should prepare to answer a series of questions about your family history, medications you take, and daily routines in your life.6
Shortness of breath, wheezing (sound like a " whistle "), coughing or tightness in your chest can tell your doctor that you are in an asthma attack. It is important to tell your doctor if you have been in contact with triggers such as animal dander, pollen, tobacco smoke or have been found to have a respiratory infection lately.6
Both, children and adults must have important considerations to have the correct diagnosis. Go through the following table, here you can find information that is essential for your doctor to know.
To diagnose asthma, there are confirmatory tests. Know about them:
Generally, this is a test that is done in a doctor's office. This test consists of placing the mouthpiece of a spirometer in the mouth and exhaling and inhaling as hard and fast as possible. What is measured is the amount of air during that inhalation and exhalation, in addition to the force with which you can do it. The purpose is to verify how well your lungs are working.8
Steps to perform the test remain with the mouthpiece well sealed between your lips during the entire time of the test.4
Perform a normal inspiration
Exhale gently until your lungs are completely empty
Take a GREAT INSPIRATION, with this it fills your lungs
Then EXHALE with much FORCE, continue exhaling until you are instructed to stop.
This test can be repeated at least 3 times.
MEASUREMENT OF THE MAXIMUM RESPIRATORY PEAK FLOW
To perform this test, a maximum flow meter is used, that measures how much air a patient can exhale with their greatest effort. Your maximum expiratory flow is decreased when you narrow the tubes (bronchi) that carry air to the lungs. A decrease in peak flow can show that the bronchi are narrowing even before the symptoms of asthma manifest.9
Sometimes this test is used as part of an asthma action plan that is formulated with the doctor. This plan helps detect if your asthma is getting worse. Consider that the peak expiratory flow is at its lowest point early in the morning and at its highest point in the afternoon, if you measure only once a day, we recommend that you also measure in the morning and before use your medication.10
TEST OF MEASUREMENT OF FeNO
FeNO means "fractional exhaled nitric oxide". An FeNO test measures nitric oxide levels when you breathe out.12 NO or nitric oxide is produced in your lungs when your airways are inflamed because of the allergy caused by the inhalation of some substance.11
This test, along with others, plus the physical exam can help diagnose asthma. In addition, they will confirm if you are classified as an allergic or non-allergic asthmatic.12
4.National Jewish Health. (2019). Cómo identificar las causas del asma. Retrieved from NJH: https://www.nationaljewish.org/health-insights/espanol/como-identificar-las-causas-del-asma
6. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. (2019). Asthma Diagnosis. Retrieved from AAFA: https://www.aafa.org/asthma-diagnosis/
7. National Asthma Council Australia. (2019, marzo). Diagnosing Asthma. Retrieved from https://www.nationalasthma.org.au/understanding-asthma/diagnosing-asthma
8. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. (2017, diciembre). Lung Function Tests. Retrieved from AAFA: https://www.aafa.org/lung-function-tests-diagnose-asthma/
9. NorthShore University HealthSystem . (2018, setiembre). Asma: Flujo espiratorio máximo y mejor medición personal. Retrieved from NorthShore University HealthSystem : https://www.northshore.org/healthresources/encyclopedia/encyclopedia.aspx?DocumentHwid=aa126622&Lang=es-us
10. National Asthma Council Australia. (2017, noviembre). Asthma Action Plans. Retrieved from National Asthma Council Australia: https://www.nationalasthma.org.au/living-with-asthma/asthma-action-plans
11. Damiá, A. (2010). Óxido Nítrico en el asma ¿para que sirve? Archivos de Bronconeumología, 46(4), 157-159.
12. Asthma UK. (2018, julio). Tests to diagnose and monitor asthma. Retrieved from Asthma UK: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/diagnosis/tests/#Feno