Asthma Diagnosis

Asthma diagnosis is done by performing clinical test that can assess lung function and capacity.


Typically, asthma diagnosis can be achieved by assessing the patient for Asthma Signs and Symptoms through physical assessment and laboratory tests. There are three types of asthma – extrinsic, intrinsic and mixed asthma. It is important to determine what type of asthma you are suffering from so you can receive the appropriate treatment.

What are the Types of Asthma?

First, we have the extrinsic asthma, which is also called as atopic asthma. The reaction of the body occurs when an allergen is introduced in the skin by parenteral administration of medications. Redness and swelling are the usual signs of the body’s reaction to allergen when it concerns the skin. Another possibility of extrinsic asthma is the introduction of allergen through the respiratory system. The body over-reacts and forms antibodies against the allergen. It is described as a hypersensitive reaction of our immune system. In these case, mast cells are stimulated to form more mucus, which can result to the narrowing of the lumen of the airways. Common examples of these allergens would be pollen, dust particles, animal dander, seafood, nuts  and eggs.

Next is intrinsic asthma. The asthma signs and symptoms with this type are not due to a reaction to external allergens. This asthma diagnosis is considered as an autoimmune disease, that can have both periods of remission and exacerbation. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but the reaction is triggered by your own body. Stress, infection and fatigue can contribute to the exacerbation of intrinsic asthma.

The last type is called mixed asthma. Its causes can be triggered by both extrinsic or intrinsic reactions. It is also the most difficult type of asthma to prevent since it has a diverse cause.

How Asthma Diagnosis is Done

Asthma Diagnosis is usually started by taking the patient’s medical history. It will give you a hint of the factors that triggered the Asthma Signs and Symptoms in the patient. Then a physical examination will be performed by assessing the patient cephalocaudally. It will include inspection, percussion, palpation and auscultation. Asthma Diagnosis consists of laboratory exams that will be performed to further assess the condition and to rule out the occurrence of other diseases. Lab tests comprise of x-rays, sputum exams and sensitivity testing.

Spirometry is another possible laboratory test. It is used to determine if there is an alterable airway occlusion. It uses a spirometer that is joined to a flexible tube connected to a non-reusable mouth piece. The patient is instructed to exhale and take a deep breath then fasten his lips unto the mouthpiece and blows powerfully for as lengthy as possible until the lungs has exhaled all the air. The basis on measuring the result of this test is the amount of air that has been exhaled and the duration of the exhalation. If there is a positive result for spirometry then it is possible for you to undergo peak expiration flow that is measured by using a peak flow meter. The peak flow meter is a convenient piece of equipment. It’s made of a tube with a gauge that measures the utmost force which a person can exhale.

What are the Complications of Asthma?

If Asthma Diagnosis is promptly done, the complications of asthma can be prevented. The most common complications of asthma are respiratory malfunction, atelectasis, pneumonia, hypoxemia and status asthmaticus.

During acute asthmatic episodes, when asthma signs and symptoms usually are evident, airway occlusion can possibly result to hypoxemia. Hypoxemia is a condition where the oxygen levels of the blood are decreased. It requires immediate medical attention to increase the level of oxygen in the blood. The patient is also attached to a pulse oximeter to monitor the oxygen saturation of his blood. Arterial blood gas analysis is also required. Intravenous fluid administration is also required, as diaphoresis can take place and lead to dehydration.

Status Asthmaticus is a rigorous and unrelenting asthma attack that cannot be relieved by traditional treatments. It progresses rapidly to asphyxia, or generalized hypoxia with less or even no warning at all. This condition is extremely life-threatening because without oxygen, the organs of the body will stop functioning. Factors that can increase the risk of status asthmaticus are dehydration, nebulizer mistreatment, infection and aspirin hypersensitivity. The manifestations include  prolonged expiration, distended neck veins and labored breathing, along with the common asthma signs and symptoms. If wheezing vanishes then it is a sign of an imminent respiratory failure. The management for this condition are corticosteroids, magnesium sulfate, high flow incremental oxygen and short acting inhalers.

How to Deal with Asthma at Home

The he correct Asthma Diagnosis of a patient determines the care that should be given to him at home. It is a challenge for the family and the individual to put into practice the fundamental asthma management. The patient and his family are required to familiarize themselves with the following: the nature of asthma as a long term inflammatory disorder, the rationale and mechanism of action of the prescribed drugs for its treatment and the best methods of avoiding the allergens that triggers the attack.

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