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Diagnosis of Asthma

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Diagnosis of Asthma

Asthma can be hard to diagnose. The symptoms can be the same as other lung problems. The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the lungs.


Spirometry measures how much air a person breathes in and breathes out. The person breathes into the tube attached to a machine. The machine measures the amount and rate of air that passes through a person's airways.

Diagnosis of asthma is based on these methods.


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  • Acute asthma exacerbation in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-asthma-exacerbation-in-children. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  • Asthma diagnosis. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. Available at: https://www.aafa.org/asthma-diagnosis. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  • Asthma exacerbation in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/asthma-exacerbation-in-adults-and-adolescents. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  • Asthma in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/asthma-in-adults-and-adolescents. Accessed October 22, 2019.
  • Chronic asthma in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-asthma-in-children. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  • Diagnosing and treating asthma. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/asthma/diagnosing-treating-asthma. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  • 2022 Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) report: global strategy for asthma management and prevention. Available at: https://ginasthma.org/gina-reports. Accessed May 6, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.