Asthma Testing Overview
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the lungs and airways to become inflamed, which can cause difficulty breathing. Common symptoms are wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain or tightness. Many children outgrow asthma over the years, but in some cases, asthma can be serious or even deadly. Therefore, it’s critical for a parent to have a child tested for asthma when he or she is presenting any symptoms. The Plano, TX family doctors at Village Health Partners can perform asthma testing to determine if a child has it as a first step in managing this condition.
What is Involved?
In younger children, the lungs aren’t fully developed, so it’s not always feasible to run traditional asthma testing. In children 6 years and younger, the doctor will ask the parent and child, if able, to discuss the symptoms to make an asthma diagnosis. However, this isn’t always accurate enough since asthma can be confused with other conditions, such as allergies and sinusitis. In those scenarios, a doctor might have to wait until a child is older to perform a lung function test. With a lung function test, or spirometry, a child will blow into a handheld apparatus, a spirometer, to determine how much air a child can exhale and how quickly. When asthma is believed to be triggered by allergies, allergy testing will be performed. This is when the child’s back will be pricked with extracts from common allergy triggers to see if there’s a reaction.
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If a child is diagnosed with asthma based on testing, he or she will have several options to control the condition. In most cases, children are prescribed a daily corticosteroid inhaler. They help to alleviate inflammation of the lungs and airways. Combination inhalers contain two medications and are prescribed for those whose asthma isn’t well maintained. There are also a variety of oral medications that can be given to prevent asthma symptoms. When asthma symptoms pop up unexpectedly, there are quick-relief inhalers and pills to stop symptoms quickly. When asthma is connected to allergies, allergy shots, injections, or sprays can be given to stop allergens.
Although asthma is chronic, it can be easily controlled with proper care and medication. At our office, we have expertise in handling children with asthma. If you feel as if your child is suffering with the condition, you need to get him or her checked out and asthma testing is the first step. We want to give your child a carefree and happy childhood, so contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Plan Your Visit
- Average Procedure Time
- 1 Hour