July 29, 2020
I've recently been diagnosed with exercise induced asthma / bronchiospasms. I'll be going to have a PFT next week. If I only have symptoms while exercising how will they test me?
John Bottrell, RRT
July 30, 2020
Hi again, iamkathleenj. Thank you for the great question. If you have controlled asthma, you would experience no symptoms. Asthma can still be diagnosed when you are experiencing no symptoms. The way to do this is by a PFT (https://asthma.net/living/pulmonary-function-testing-to-diagnose-asthma/) test, as you note. What will happen is described in the article, but it basically involves doing a pre and post bronchodilator forced vital capacity. If your lung function improves after the bronchodilator by 15% then you can probably be diagnosed with asthma . This shows that you have a reversible condition (https://asthma.net/living/what-does-reversible-mean/) which is how asthma is defined (reversible obstructive airway disease). Also, if this test does not confirm your asthma diagosis, and your doctor still thinks you might have asthma, there are a couple other options. One, is you could do bronchoprovocation test. This is a PFT test where they give you a medicine to inhale that causes you to have an asthma attack (mild land under supervision). Then you do the pre and post FVC. When this test shows a 15% increase in your post treatment lung, you can most assuredly be diagnosed with asthma. There is also another test where you can run on a treadmill instead of bronchoprovocation. I have done this before. If running on a treadmill makes you experience asthma, then this test may also be an option. Does this help? What test you do depends on your doctor and probably how close you are to a center that performs these tests. John. asthma.net community moderator.
July 30, 2020
Hey there, Kathleen. Welcome to the community. Hopefully we can be helpful. 😀 John has given you some great information to get started. I also went looking for a couple articles you might enjoy reading that talk more about the specifics of exercise-induced asthma and diagnosis.
Here you go!
Please keep us posted about how things are going. We're always here for you! -Melissa, asthma.net