Why Asthma Diagnosis Should Be Made Quickly
Asthma diagnosis is one which is difficult for a physician to make with absolute certainty, as there is no specific test which will definitely reveal the presence of an asthmatic condition. The problem is made even more difficult by the fact that there are several different types of asthma which have different symptoms and aggravating factors. It is usual for physicians to monitor the patient and to make notes of when attacks occur, using this to eventually narrow down the diagnosis to probable asthma.
Although we know for certain that certain factors can make an asthmatic condition far worse, we do not yet know for sure what causes asthma in the first place. The strong likelihood is that the causes are environmental, as the numbers of people suffering from asthma has risen dramatically as the environment in Western countries has become more polluted. Materials used in building and construction have been suspected, as has the inevitable result of increased road traffic. It is more than likely that a combination of factors is needed before the condition develops, and different combinations will produce slightly different symptoms and trigger factors. All of this makes exact diagnosis far more difficult.
The factors which exacerbate the condition in any given case can often be used to diagnose the asthma with reasonable probability. If the attacks occur more frequently when the patient is at home, it is more than likely that they have some reaction to domestic dust. Dust mites are one of the most significant factors in the development of asthma symptoms, and there is now evidence that they play a part in causing the condition. If a child is exposed to dust mites during the first year of their life, they will have a greatly increased risk of developing asthma. If this diagnosis is made, the home will need to be kept as dust free as possible.
A fast and accurate asthma diagnosis can help greatly with the management of the condition, and it can also increase the chances of the patient recovering fully at a later stage. This is especially true in child asthma, where the early treatment of the disease can dramatically increase the chances of the child being free of all symptoms by the time they reach adulthood. If asthma is correctly diagnosed, the patient can be given light doses of corticosteroid drugs over a long period of time, giving the body the greatest chance of learning to breathe properly again.
Accurate diagnosis is even more essential for successful long term treatment, as this will involve the constant application of a drug, usually through an inhaler. It is important to start with a small dose and build up, partly because of the need to avoid giving the body any more drugs than is necessary, but to a large extent because of the need to monitor the reaction in the patient’s body. If for some reason the problem has not been correctly diagnosed, the treatment can be discontinued without any serious harm having been done.
Making an asthma diagnosis is difficult for a trained medical practitioner, so it is certainly no task for a lay person. If you think there is a possibility that you or a family member may have asthma, lose no time in going to see a physician and having the condition examined. Even if the physician is not exactly sure of the diagnosis, there will still be treatments which can be offered in the short term to assist your breathing and to keep your body more comfortable. In addition to this, your chances of one day being free of the disease are greatly enhanced by an early asthma diagnosis.