WHAT IS ASTHMA?
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that causes inflammation (swelling) of the airways.1,2
If you have asthma, your airways are always inflamed—and become even more swollen when something triggers your symptoms.3 Less air is able to pass through your airways as a result, making it difficult for you to breathe normally.2
MAKING A DIAGNOSIS
Are you experiencing symptoms—but are not sure if you have asthma?
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
Putting Asthma to the Test
Peak flow meters
In one fast blast, this portable, hand-held device can measure your ability to push air out of the lungs. Because children have much smaller airways than adults, these meters come in 2 different ranges (low for small children and standard for older children, teenagers, and adults).5
Used for tests—performed in your doctor's office—that evaluate how the lungs are working, by measuring how fast you can blow air out as well as how much air you can breathe in and out.6
FEno (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) measurement
A simple, safe method of measuring airway inflammation—performed in your doctor's office—to help assess airway inflammation and your compliance with your asthma therapy.7
Is it Asthma? Understanding a child's symptoms
Asthma is often misdiagnosed in children. In those younger than 6 years of age, it's often mistakenly diagnosed as bronchitis, the croup, a cold, or reactive airway disease.8-11
When children have their first symptoms upon entering school or later, a diagnosis of asthma is often made after a first or second attack (also called an exacerbation).8
References: 1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Health. What is asthma? http://wwwnhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/topics/asthma. Updated August 4, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2016. 2. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus®. Asthma - children. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000990.htm. Updated April 5, 2016. Accessed April 27, 2016. 3. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Asthma. http://www.aaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/asthma.aspx. Accessed April 27, 2016 4. Asthma control testTM. http://www.asthma.com/additional-resources/asthma-control-test.html. Accessed April 27, 2016. 5. American Lung Association. Measuring your peak flow rate. http://www.lung.org/assets/documents/asthma/peak-flow-meter.pdf. Accessed April 27, 2016. 6. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health. How is asthma diagnosed? http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma/diagnosis. Updated August 4, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2016. 7. Dweik RA, Boggs PB, Erzurum SC, et al; American Thoracic Society Committee on Interpretation of Exhaled Nitric Oxide Levels(FENO) for Clinical Applications. An official ATS clinical practice guideline: interpretation of exhaled nitric oxide levels(FENO) for clinical applications. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011;184(5):602-615. 8. Data on file. Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc. 9. American Family Physician. Acute bronchitis: what you need to know. 1998;57(6):1281-1282. http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0315/p1281.html. Accessed April 27, 2016. 10. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma in infants. http://www.aafa.org/display/page/asthma-in-infants.aspx. Medical review September 2015. Accessed April 27, 2016. 11. Mayo Clinic. Reactive airway disease: is it asthma? http://www.mayoclinic.org/disease-conditions/asthma/expert-answers/reactive-airway-disease/faq-20058010. Published February 5, 2013. Updated February 12, 2016. Accessed April 27, 2016.