How Doctors Test And Diagnose Asthma?

www.healasthma.com

The next step in your visit is the physical examination. The exam will focus on your skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, and chest. The doctor will look at your skin for signs of eczema or hives. Inflam­mation in the ears or eyes may signify an underlying allergy. Dark circles under the eyes, called allergic shiners, and swelling in the nose are both telltale signs of allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, which is often associated with asthma. The chest exam is the most important part of the doctor’s physical examination. The doctor will rely on a stethoscope to detect wheezing and gauge the rate of air movement in and out of your chest. The doctor .may ask you to take a deep breath or briefly exercise to make it easier for her or him to detect wheezing. An astute asthma doctor can often diagnose asthma by just looking at a patient’s chest and observ­ing what is called the barrel-chest deformity. When patients with chronic asthma constantly use their chest and rib muscles to move air in and out of their lungs, the chest wall is stretched to the limit, and it expands, giving the chest a barrel-like shape.

The next part of the evaluation involves laboratory testing. Common tests include a nasal or a sputum smear in which mucus from the nose or chest is examined under^ a microscope for an excess amount of white blood cells, called eosinophils. Eosinophils are the hallmark of asthma or an ongoing allergic reaction, and they increase in number in hay fever and asthma. The level of eosinophils in the body can be measured by a blood test called the eosinophil count. Eosinophils normally comprise 3 to 4 per­cent of all white blood cells, but in patients with asthma the eosinophil blood count is frequently elevated. The level of eosinophils often reflects the severity of asthma. Two\other tests that may be ordered in infants and young toddlers with asthma are the sweat test and gammaglobulin test. The sweat test is done to rule out cystic fibrosis as a potential cause of wheezing. The physicalal examination will give a clear indication of symptoms of asthma to most specialist doctors. The asthma specialist will focus on your skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, and chest. The doctor will look at your skin for signs of eczema or hives. Inflam­mation in the ears or eyes may signify an underlying allergy. Dark circles under the eyes, called allergic shiners, and swelling in the nose are signs of allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, which is often associated with asthma.

The chest exam is the most important part of the asthma specialist’s physical examination. The doctor will rely on a stethoscope to detect wheezing and gauge the rate of air movement in and out of your chest. The doctor will ask the patient to take a deep breath or briefly exercise to make it easier for him to detect wheezing. An asthma specialist can often diagnose asthma by just looking at a patient’s chest. When patients with chronic asthma constantly use their chest and rib muscles to move air in and out of their lungs, the chest wall is stretched to the limit, and it expands, giving the chest a barrel-like shape.

 

Laboratory testing can also give a clear indication for asthma. Common tests include a nasal or sputum in which mucus from the nose or chest is examined under a microscope for an excess amount of white blood cells known as eosinophils. These Eosinophils are the indication of asthma or an ongoing allergic reaction, and they are found in excess amounts in those afflicted with hay fever and asthma.. Eosinophils normally comprise around 4 per­cent of all white blood cells, but in patients with asthma the eosinophil blood count is frequently elevated. Another, though not a common ailment that mimic most symptoms of asthma is cystic fibrosis. The sweat test in infants can give the indication of cystic fibrosis.

 

 

Another major blood test in the diagnosis of asthma is the Immunoglobulin E or IgE test, which measures the amount of allergic or IgE antibody in a person’s serum or body. A high IgE level indicates that allergies may be causing the asthma. If the IgE level count is less than 32 the patient may not be having allergic asthma. IgE count of above 50 shows clear propensity to allergic asthma.

 
  
 

www.healasthma.com

 

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