Asthma is diagnosed based on your medical history, a physical exam, and results from diagnostic tests. You may need to see a team of healthcare providers, including your doctor; an asthma specialist, called a pulmonologist; or an allergy specialist, called an allergist.
Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your symptoms. They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.
During the physical exam, your doctor may:
Your doctor may ask you to perform the following tests to determine whether your symptoms are caused by asthma.
It can be hard to tell whether a child under age 6 has asthma or another respiratory condition, because young children often cannot perform a pulmonary function test such as spirometry. After checking a child’s history and symptoms, the doctor may try asthma medicines for a few months to see how well a child responds. About 40% of children who wheeze when they get colds or respiratory infections are eventually diagnosed with asthma.