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Asthma Health Center

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Health Conditions That Mimic Asthma

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What Is a Chest X-ray?

By viewing your lungs on an X-ray, your doctor can see if you have another health condition that may be causing asthma-like symptoms. Asthma may cause a small increase in the size of your lungs (called hyperinflation), but a person with asthma will usually have a normal chest X-ray. Patients with COPD will also have hyperinflation, but emphysema causes holes in lung tissue, called blebs or bullae, which are evident on a chest X-ray. A chest X-ray can also make sure you don't have pneumonia or lung cancer, particularly in smokers.

Other Tests for Conditions That May Mimic Asthma

There are some medical conditions that often make asthma harder to treat and control, in addition to being asthma mimics. These include allergies and GERD. If you are diagnosed with asthma, your doctor might also test you for these conditions, or treat them for several weeks to see if your asthma symptoms also improve.

For more information on allergies, GERD, and other triggers, see Causes of Asthma.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on February 11, 2014
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