Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder that usually develops during childhood. It occurs when the airways in the lungs become inflamed and compressed, making breathing difficult. Asthma can be pretty challenging to diagnose correctly. Several childhood ailments can display symptoms similar to those of asthma. At Healthy Kidz Pediatrics in Mesa, Arizona, we offer asthma screenings to help identify the exact cause of your child's condition.
How Is Asthma Diagnosed?
Our doctor, Dr. Manuel Galvez, will review your child's symptoms, medical, and family history. We will discuss the symptoms like wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and the frequency of their occurrence. It will help to reveal your family history of asthma, allergies, or other lung conditions. In addition, we will perform a physical examination and check your child's heart and lung functioning. We will take chest and sinus X-rays blood, pulmonary, and allergy tests to further support our physical diagnosis. These comprehensive tests will help us determine if asthma is the cause of your child's distress.
Asthma testing includes several procedures to diagnose lung problems. The most common tests to diagnose asthma include the following:
This test is generally used to diagnose asthma in children five years or older. A spirometry test will help determine lung functioning and the amount of airway obstruction. A child will be required to inhale a deep breath and forcefully breathe out into a tube connected to a spirometer. This machine records the volume of air and how quickly it is exhaled. If the measurements are below average, it may indicate that asthma has narrowed your child's airways. After the initial diagnosis, we may repeat the test after giving your child asthma drugs to open the airways. When the test results show significant improvement after taking the medication, the asthma diagnosis is confirmed.
Exhaled Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide gas is present naturally in the lungs, but high levels in your breath can indicate the inflammation of the airways. As asthma is an inflammatory condition, a nitric oxide test will help diagnose and manage asthma. The test will need your child to breathe into a small handheld device for about ten seconds at a steady pace. The device will then calculate the amount of nitric oxide present in the lungs from the air that is exhaled.
If your child seems to have asthma triggered by allergies, we might recommend allergy skin testing. During a skin test, the skin is pricked with extracts of common allergy-causing substances, such as mold, dust mites, or animal dander, and observed for allergic reactions.
To schedule an asthma testing for your child, visit our office, Healthy Kidz Pediatrics, at 215 S Power Rd #106, Mesa, AZ 85206. You can also reach us at (480) 214-0051.