Diagnosing Asthma

To diagnose asthma and tell it apart from other lung disorders, doctors look at many things, including medical history, physical examination and laboratory tests.

These lab tests may include:

Spirometry – A spirometer is a device used to assess lung function. This test can be done while the child is breathing normally or when the child is asked to forcefully blow out. This test can be performed on children as young as 2 years old.

  • Office spirometry is for children over 6 years of age.

Allergy testing – Allergies can be evaluated by either a scratch test or a blood test.  Each test has certain advantages and the specialists in the Asthma Center will determine what test is best for your child. The tests are quick, relatively painless and can be performed in infants.

Exhaled nitric oxide – A new test that is able to measure the amount inflammation present in the airways of young children with asthma.  The test is painless, easy to perform and provides information that helps with both the diagnosis and treatment of asthma.

Other tests include chest X-rays, blood tests and allergy testing.