An asthma diagnosis is based on the following:
Review of personal and medical history:
- Family history (e.g., allergies, eczema)
- Physical, other health conditions
- Current medications
- Exposure to triggers (home, work, outdoors)
- Breathing tests (or Lung Function Tests) may include:
- Spirometry Test: determines the lungs’ capacity on how much air is inhaled and exhaled, and how quickly air is exhaled.
- Peak Expiratory Flow Rate: measures how well the air moves in and out of your lungs
- FeNO test measures the amount of nitric oxide when air is exhaled, an indication that there is inflammation in the airways (test is used in combination with others)
- Provocation tests: used to test your lungs’ sensitivity to challenges (e.g., exercise such as on a treadmill, irritant such as chemicals, smoke)
- Methacholine Inhalation test: measures how sensitive and reactive the airways are
Peak Flow Meter
A device that measures the amount of air and rate of air that is forcefully breathed out of the lungs. Your healthcare provider will determine your 3 peak flow zone: greens zone is 80%-100% of your personal best; the yellow zone is 50% to 80% of your personal best; the red zone is less than 50% of your personal best
Click here to see a video on "How to Use a Peak Flow Meter".
Using an asthma diary to share with your health care provider at your next visit helps understand how our asthma is. The diary can track your asthma symptoms, details on when they happen, what makes them better or worse, and how they affect your daily life activities.