Allergy testing may be recommended to identify any allergies that trigger asthma symptoms.
For more detail, see WebMD's article on Allergies and Asthma.
Evaluation of the Sinuses
The presence of nasal polyps or sinusitis may make asthma harder to treat and control. Sinusitis, also called sinus infection, is an inflammation or swelling of the sinuses due to infection. When the sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, bacteria grow, causing infection and inflammation. Your doctor may order a special sinus X-ray, called a CT scan, to evaluate your sinuses if he suspects an infection. Once acute sinusitis is diagnosed, you will be treated with antibiotics for at least 10 to 12 days. Treating the sinusitis may help in preventing asthma symptoms.
For in-depth information, see WebMD's Sinusitis and Asthma.
Judging the Severity of Asthma
Based on these asthma tests and your symptoms, your doctor may determine that you have asthma. The next step is for the doctor to determine the severity of asthma as this will help decide asthma treatment. There are four types of asthma determined by your symptoms and specific results from lung function tests. They are:
- Mild intermittent asthma. Symptoms occur less than twice a week with rare exacerbation or asthma attacks and infrequent nighttime asthma symptoms.
- Mild persistent asthma. Symptoms occur more than twice a week but less than once a day, and asthma attacks affect activity. People with mild persistent asthma do have nighttime symptoms more than twice a month.
- Moderate persistent asthma. Symptoms occur daily, with nighttime symptoms that occur more than once a week. People with moderate persistent asthma tend to have asthma attacks that affect their activity that may last several days. In addition, they require daily use of their quick acting asthma medication to control symptoms.
- Severe persistent asthma. Continual symptoms occur both day and night, and there is limited activity and frequent asthma attacks.