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Your primary care doctor will diagnose asthma based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and test results. Your doctor will also determine the severity of your asthma to establish what treatment options are available for you.
Asthma symptoms can mimic several other conditions, and your doctor will take a thorough history to rule these out. Your doctor may ask you about related health conditions that can interfere with asthma management. These conditions include a runny nose, sinus infections, reflux disease, psychological stress, and sleep apnea.
Your doctor may also want to know what factors seem to trigger your symptoms or worsen them. They may ask about your family history of asthma and allergies. Let your doctor know whether your symptoms seem to happen only during certain times of the year or in certain places, or if they get worse at night.
You may also have lung function tests to measure how much air your lungs can hold and how much air you breathe out. Your doctor may use a spirometer to measure how much air you exhale and how quickly you get air out of your lungs. Other tests may include chest and sinus x-rays, blood tests, or allergy tests.