On the Importance of Breathing Tests in Managing Asthma

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Imagine you are cooking dinner for a big family get-together at Thanksgiving. Roast turkey with stuffing, green bean casserole, rolls and pie for dessert. It’s a big undertaking. Now imagine doing it without an oven thermometer.

Think about playing a round on your favorite golf course ever. You’ve got a long shot over the water to a tiny green. Now imagine that shot without yard markers or a range finder. Golf is hard enough already.

Numbers are important. Data and objective information help guide us through our daily lives. They let us know the true measure of things so we do not have to rely on intuition or guesswork.

Numbers are important in asthma, too. Often there is a large disconnect between how people perceive their asthma severity and what the objective numbers tell us. Lung function in asthma is measured with a test called spirometry. Spirometry measures the bellows function of the lungs- how well we move air in and out. Spirometry can be used to diagnose asthma, to help us gauge asthma severity, and to monitor response to asthma therapy. Spirometry is critical to the diagnosis and management of asthma. It is so important that the AAAAI lists it as one of their most important recommendations to physicians in their Choosing Wisely initiative.

At The Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center, all of our locations have the ability to perform spirometry and all of our board-certified physicians are trained in using it to diagnose and manage asthma. If you have asthma or have symptoms such as cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath, a simple spirometry test might provide you with valuable information to help improve or maintain your health.

Dr. O

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