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Diagnosing Asthma



How can your determine if a person has asthma?


The diagnosis of asthma requires a careful history with proper pulmonary function testing before and after bronchodilators (albuterol). If there is a 12-15% change in the FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in the 1st second of exhalation) then this is diagnostic of asthma. A negative test does not exclude asthma but more specialized tests would be required to make a definitive diagnosis or exclusion of asthma. An allergist or pulmonologist evaluates patients to determine if they have asthma.

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Response by:

Jonathan   Bernstein, MD Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati