|Asthma: Making a diagnosis||1471.00000000000||Asthma: Making a diagnosis||Asthma: Making a diagnosis||A||English||Respiratory||Child (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)||Lungs||Respiratory system||Conditions and diseases||Adult (19+)||NA||2009-01-29T05:00:00Z||Sharon Dell, BEng, MD, FRCPC;Bonnie Fleming-Carroll, MN, ACNP, CAE;Jennifer Leaist, RN, BScN;Rishita Peterson, RN, BScN, MN;Gurjit Sangha, RN, MN;James Tjon, BScPhm, PharmD, RPh||7.00000000000000||67.0000000000000||728.000000000000||Flat Content||Health A-Z||<p>Find out about asthma symptoms, risk factors for asthma and the several types of tests that doctors may use to diagnose asthma in children.</p>
<br>||<p>While it can be difficult to diagnose asthma, it is important to make a diagnosis so you can manage symptoms and avoid allergents and other asthma triggers in future. </p>||<h2> Key points </h2>
<ul><li>Early diagnosis and treatment of asthma and allergies can help control asthma symptoms and prevent further attacks.
</li><li>To diagnose asthma, doctors will take a medical and family history and conduct a physical examination. They may order a spirometry or pulmonary function test if your child is over the age of 6 or 7. </li>
<li>Children with asthma often have allergies. Being around things they are allergic to can worsen their asthma.</li>
<li> Certain risk factors may make your child more likely to have asthma, but children can also be diagnosed with asthma without some of the risk factors. </li></ul>||<p>Early diagnosis and treatment of asthma and allergies are helpful to control asthma symptoms or prevent further asthma episodes. Your child can live a healthy life if your child’s asthma is well controlled. </p><p>It can be challenging for your doctor to make a diagnosis of asthma in a young child. Asthma-like symptoms can also occur with other health problems. Also, babies and young children may not be able to accurately tell you how they are feeling. </p><p>To make a diagnosis of asthma, your doctor will do these things: </p><ul><li>The doctor will ask you about your child’s symptoms and past health, as well as the health of other family members. This is called taking a medical and family history. </li><li>The doctor will examine your child, including listening to your child’s breathing. This is called a physical examination.</li><li>For children who are older, often over the age of 6 or 7, the doctor may order a test called spirometry or pulmonary function. Your child will be asked to breathe out as fast and as long as he can through a tube. The tube is connected to a machine that measures your child’s breathing. The results of this test help make a diagnosis. </li></ul><h2>Allergy tests</h2><p>Your doctor may also order allergy tests for your child. Many children with asthma also have allergies. Being around things that he is allergic to can make your child’s asthma worse. If you know what your child is allergic to, you can help your child avoid these triggers. </p><p>The most common test is an allergy skin test, also called a skin prick test. Results from this test take about 15 minutes.</p><h2>Asthma symptoms</h2><p>If your child has any of the following symptoms, you should ask your doctor about asthma:</p><ul><li>non-stop (continuous) or on-and-off (intermittent) coughing without a cold</li><li>trouble breathing</li><li>chest tightness</li><li>high-pitched whistling sounds when breathing (wheezing)</li><li>coughing throughout the night that wakes up your child</li><li>coughing so hard that your child throws up (vomits)</li><li>cold-like symptoms, such as coughing, trouble breathing, or congestion, that last a long time (3 to 4 weeks)</li><li>difficulty exercising; not being able to keep up with other children during physical play</li><li>coughing, trouble breathing, chest tightness, or wheezing when your child is around certain conditions, such as animals, dust, or cold air </li></ul><h2>Asthma symptoms in older children</h2>
<p>In older children, the following things may also be signs of asthma:</p><ul><li>Your child tells you “My chest hurts,” “My chest feels funny,” or often says “I feel tired.”</li><li>Your child avoids sports activities.<br></li><li>Your child does not want to go out or play with other children.</li></ul><h2>Risk factors for asthma</h2><p>There are some factors that may make your child more likely to have asthma:</p><ul><li>history of allergies and eczema </li><li>family history of allergies and allergic disorders like asthma and eczema</li><li>being exposed to tobacco smoke before birth and during childhood</li><li>a respiratory infection called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) during childhood </li><li>low birth weight</li></ul><p>Remember, these are only risk factors. They make it more likely that your child may have asthma, but not every child with these risk factors has asthma. Children can also get asthma even without some of the risk factors. For example, your child can still get asthma even if there is no history of allergies, eczema, or asthma in your family. </p>
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