Asthma is a chronic lung disease, which can be controlled with medication but not cured.
In clinical practice, asthma is defined by the presence of both of the following:
- Excessive variation in lung function (‘variable airflow limitation’, i.e. variations in expiratory airflow that is greater than that seen in healthy people)
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. wheeze, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness) that vary over time and may be present or absent at any point in time.
There is not a singular test that can diagnose asthma, our GP’s work with our patients to determine:
- Previous history of a recurrent or persistent wheeze
- Family history of asthma or allergies
- Absence of physical findings that suggest an alternative diagnosis
- Testing of variable airflow limitations
- A consistent clinical response to an inhaled bronchodilator or preventer.