Asthma Care Center
Tests and exams
The most common way to diagnose asthma is to perform a lung function test. Before the test, your doctor will want a personal and medical history. An allergy test may be needed. This is because many asthma symptoms are triggered by allergens.
There are many ways for doctors to find out what triggers your allergies. A skin test is the most common. A small amount of allergens are placed on your skin. Your doctor will watch the skin’s reaction. An allergy will make your skin swell and itch like a mosquito bite. Because asthma is often triggered by allergies, it’s important to know what those allergies are. This can help the doctor create an asthma prevention plan.
A spirometer (spy-ROM-uh-ter) measures the amount of air you’re able to breathe in and out. During the test, you take a deep breath and then exhale into a mouthpiece. You do this a few times so the test can give an accurate reading. The result tells the provider how well you’re able to force air out of your lungs.
During a peak flow test, you hold a device and breathe into it as hard and fast as possible. Peak flow meters can be used at home to help monitor your condition. They are less accurate than a spirometer. But, they can be very helpful in managing your condition at home.