If you have never experienced the symptoms before, a sudden asthma attack can be extremely alarming. You may mistake it for a panic attack, anxiety or even an allergic reaction. All of these problems have similar symptoms and are very commonly misdiagnosed. The best way to determine if it was indeed an asthma attack, is to have your doctor perform an asthma test.
There are three types of asthma tests that can determine if the threat is present. The most common asthma test is called a lung function test. There are two different lung function tests, spirometry and methacholine challenge. The spirometry test measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs and also, how much air is produced. This is usually performed by blowing into a spirometer as fast and hard as you can. The spirometer will then measure the strength and speed of your lungs. The doctor should be able to determine if you lungs are working at full capacity, or if they are lacking. The methacholine challenge test does something similar, but can take it a step further and determine if there is a blockage. You will have a breathing treatment done with a nebulizer and it will help determine if the airways are narrow and if there is a mucus build up on them.
Another asthma test that can be performed is a chest x-ray. The doctor can perform the x-ray to see if there is any blockage, inflammation or irritation to the lungs, airways and bronchial tube. This will help the doctor determine whether you have asthma. It is especially helpful when trying to diagnose chronic asthma.
The last asthma test that can be performed is not just targeted for asthma. An allergy test is often performed when trying to diagnose asthma. Since allergies are a common cause of asthma, determining if you have allergies can also determine if asthma is a threat.
If you have symptoms that are related to asthma, chances are your doctor will perform one or more of these asthma tests. Being able to see your lung capacity and whether or not there is inflammation in the airways will help determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are indeed caused by asthma.
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