Johns Hopkins Medicine answered:
Diagnosing asthma in children can consist of several steps, including:
•A review of the family history to learn if other family members have asthma
•A review of the history of symptoms will alert the doctor to the possibility that your child may have asthma. Particularly telling are episodes with sudden onset of coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and difficulty breathing, particularly with colds, or even a cough that lasts for 2 or more weeks at a time.
•A lung function test called spirometry to check lung capacity and their capacity may be helpful. Spirometry usually cannot be used in children younger than 5 years.
•Allergy testing can be done to determine if asthma is triggered by allergies. Most children with asthma have at least one allergy.
•A hand-held device called peak-flow meter can be used to monitor breathing.
•Chest X-rays can be helpful.
Based on the frequency of symptoms, asthma is classified as:•Intermittent asthma (typically symptoms are less than 2 days in a week and less than 2 nights in a month)
•Persistent asthma (symptoms occur more than days a week or more than 2 nights a month)
•Moderate persistent asthma
•Severe persistent asthma
Treatment and follow-up will depend on frequency of symptoms. Children with “persistent” asthma are usually recommended to take a daily medicine to reduce the frequency of symptoms and prevent more symptoms in the future.Diagnosing asthma in children can consist of several steps, including: •A physical exam•A review of the family history to learn if other family members have asthma•A review of the history of symptoms will alert the... More