Sometimes asthma may difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to many other respiratory illnesses and infections. As a result, many people are not aware that they have asthma. Often, the only symptoms of asthma might be a cough at night or wheezing during exercise. These signs are often not alarming and are often passed off as bronchitis. To diagnose asthma, doctors will probably look at your medical history and give you a thorough physical examination followed by laboratory tests. One lab test your doctor might use includes spirometry (spy-ROM-uh-tree), where an instrument is used to measure the amount of air taken in and released from the lungs. A similar lab procedure to measure lung capacity is peak flow monitoring. Chest X-rays as well as blood and allergy tests may be required for diagnosis.
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