The Asthma Center

How is asthma diagnosed?

To diagnose asthma, your doctor will consider:

  • Detailed allergy and asthma history
  • Physical examination
  • Pulmonary Function Testing (peak flow, spirometry, complete lung volumes, methacholine challenge)
  • Various other tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Rule out other diseases causing similar symptoms
  • Your positive response to asthma medication; worsening of symptoms when off of asthma medications

Poorly controlled asthma may be the result of other underlying medical problems and environmental issues, which will affect how you and your physician approach your asthma treatment and management. These coexisting conditions may include:

  • Sinusitis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Cigarette Smoking or Passive Cigarette Smoke Exposure
  • Allergic Rhinitis (hayfever)
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Stress or Psychological Problems
  • Poor Air Quality or Exposure to Irritants/Allergens
  • Poor Patient Compliance with Medications or Environmental Controls
  • Medications (e.g. Beta-Blockers) for Other Medical Problems