Asthma usually is diagnosed based on the history of
symptoms, a physical exam, lung function tests, and laboratory tests. The
medical history is especially important if you or your child does not have
symptoms at the time of the visit.
Your doctor will probably ask whether you or your
Has sudden severe episodes or recurrent episodes
of coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath, and how frequently this
Has colds that "go to the chest" or take more than 10 days
to get over.
Coughs, wheezes, or has shortness of breath during a
particular season or time of the year.
Coughs, wheezes, or has
shortness of breath in certain places (such as a certain room in the house) or
when exposed to certain things, such as animals, cigarette smoke, or
Coughs, wheezes, or has shortness of breath when exposed
to cold air or smoke.
Uses any medicines that aid breathing, and
how often the medicine is taken.
In the past 4 weeks, have you or your child had coughing, wheezing,
or shortness of breath:
In the early morning?
exercise or other physical activity?
After laughter, tickling, or
That has awakened you at night?
Your doctor will want to know whether you or your child
A previous history of an allergy or
sinusitis, or a family history of asthma or
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.