Are you worried that you or your child has asthma? Asthma can be scary if you don’t know exactly what you are up against. It’s important to receive a proper diagnosis so that you can properly manage and care for yourself or your child. Before going in for a doctor’s diagnosis, you need to understand the signs and symptoms of asthma.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Asthma?
Asthma is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath and difficulting breathing. It can be triggered by a number of things, including airborne allergens and physical exertion. Signs and symptoms include the following:
- Tightness in chest
- Difficulty filling lungs
- Low tolerance for physical exercise
Many of these symptoms can be caused by other ailments (such as allergies), but if you notice a recurrence of your symptoms, you should consider being tested by a doctor.
How Does a Doctor Diagnose Asthma?
To determine whether or not you have asthma, your doctor will probably ask you a number of medical questions, including questions about your family’s medical history. The doctor will also ask about symptoms, triggers, exercise habits, etc. Once all of the basic questions have been answered, your doctor will perform a physical exam. This exam will include an inspection of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, as well as possible lung X-rays.
Once the physical exam is complete, the doctor will test your lungs using a series of breathing tests. If your lungs are underperforming, they will determine whether the source of the problem is asthma or something else.
It’s important to remember that there are different levels of asthma, so even if you are diagnosed, it may not be as severe as some other cases. Generally speaking, asthma severity ranges from four different levels: intermittent, mild, moderate, and severe. Each requires a different level of treatment.
How do People with Asthma Monitor Their Condition?
Once you have been diagnosed with asthma, it’s important that you do everything you can to monitor and manage it. You can do this in a number of ways, but one of the most effective ways is to develop a written asthma action plan.
An asthma action plan is a detailed diary that records symptoms, attacks, and other helpful information. Not only does it help you know what actions to take upon attack, but it also provides a database that both you and your doctor can easily access.
Additionally, you can monitor your condition by performing lung tests at home. This lets you know how well you are taking in breaths.
How Can You Test Your Lungs at Home?
There are two primary lung tests that can help you monitor your asthma. A peak flow test can be performed at home and indicates how fast one can release air from their lungs. A spirometry test, which is typically taken at a doctor’s office, measures the quantity of air one can fit inside their lungs.
A good way to test your lungs is to count how many breaths you naturally take in every 60 seconds. Investing in a portable lung-testing program is a great method of collecting data that can be saved for future doctor’s visits.
How Do You Test Yourself for Asthma?
Aluna is an innovative, scientifically-accurate, and portable spirometry exam and asthma management platform paired with a mobile game kids love. Developed by four asthmatic UC Berkeley grads with guidance from the world’s leading pediatric pulmonologists, Aluna seeks to shed light on childhood asthma by providing better data for doctors and parents while coaching kids to develop good asthma management habits.
This regular testing of lung function helps both doctors and patients to more closely monitor respiratory health over time and create better, more informed treatment plans. Proper usage of Aluna will result in better control of asthma.
If your child lives in California and has been diagnosed with asthma, contact us for more information on how they can participate in the Aluna clinical trial. Get valuable information for you and your child’s doctor regarding their FEV1 scores.