How To Figure Out If You Have Asthma

How To Figure Out If You Have Asthma

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Eliana Teegardin, of Beaver River, is just 17 and has developed symptoms of asthma.

For months, Teegardin felt shortness of breath and tightness in her chest, so she turned to testing at Lewis County General Hospital to learn more.

“It feels like I have to take effort to breathe. I have to think about it and if I don't think about it, well, I don't breathe,” she said.

That's where pulmonary function tests come in. They're used to measure how well your lungs work. Health care professionals will monitor breathing patterns, and in this case, use methacholine challenge tests to determine a diagnosis.

“They inhale it and we monitor their vitals and we take their breathing test, their pulmonary function test, after each dose. If it decreases to a certain percentage, then we know it's a positive test,” respiratory therapist Samantha Woodhouse said.

Experts say say this is really the most effective way to determine if someone has asthma or not.

For Teegardin, her results came up negative, which rules out the possibility of the lung disease.

“I know I don't have asthma, so we can go try something else to narrow it down to figure out what I do have. So, I think it's a good thing,” she said.

Health care professionals also say with school starting, now is the best time to get the tests done if you find yourself with symptoms.

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