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Diagnosing Asthma

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Diagnosing Asthma Accurately

In diagnosing asthma, your doctor may order other asthma tests, including a methacholine challenge test. Methacholine is an agent that, when inhaled, causes airways to spasm and narrow if asthma is present. For more information, see WebMD's Pulmonary Function Tests.

Not everyone needs every asthma test. Trust your doctor to decide which set of asthma tests is best in your case to ensure no other medical problems are present. This can help you avoid extra testing that may add little to your diagnosis and only increases the number of tests and expense. If you still do not feel comfortable with the asthma diagnosis, talk to your doctor to see if more testing is necessary. Or, get a second opinion until you have peace of mind that the asthma or breathing problem has been diagnosed correctly. Then, proper asthma treatments can begin.        

Getting back in control of your asthma depends on an accurate asthma diagnosis and asthma support. Once asthma is properly diagnosed, your doctor can prescribe the most effective asthma treatments, including an asthma inhaler and inhaled steroids that can relieve your breathing problems and help with prevention of asthma symptoms.

Be Ready to Ask Questions About Asthma

If you’re unsure what to ask your doctor at your appointment, we’ve provided some suggested questions for your visit with the asthma specialist.

For more information, see WebMD’s 10 Questions You Must Ask.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on February 12, 2014
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