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Overview

An asthma screening will help you and your allergist identify whether the symptoms you’re experiencing are asthma- or allergy-related. If you already know you have asthma, the asthma screening will determine how well-controlled your asthma is and whether you and your allergist need to reassess your management plan.

In addition to asthma and nasal allergies, you can find out if you have exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, or EIB (also known as exercise-induced asthma) – breathing problems that occur during or after exercise.

If you think your child may have asthma, it’s best to find out if they have asthma or allergies when they are young so you can work to control symptoms and help them enjoy life. An asthma screening is part of a lifelong treatment plan, along with working with your allergist.

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What Happens at an Asthma Screening?

An asthma screening takes about 15 minutes.

First, you’ll fill out registration forms and a questionnaire that asks for basic information, including your age, your lifestyle and whether you exercise, and your symptoms. Children ages 8 to 14 receive a form they can fill out themselves, while parents complete the form for children younger than 8.

Next, you’ll take a breathing test that involves blowing very hard into a tube. The tube is connected to a computer that measures how much air your lungs can hold and how well they are functioning.

Finally, you’ll speak with your allergist to review the results of your breathing test and your answers on the questionnaire. Your allergist may want more information about your symptoms and everyday activities. If the results suggest that you might have asthma, nasal allergies or EIB, your allergist will want to schedule a separate appointment for a full diagnosis.

Take the Asthma and Allergies Symptom Test to find out if you might have allergies or asthma. Your results will point you toward resources to get the help you need and put you on the road to feeling good all day and sleeping well at night.

Don’t let allergies or asthma hold you back from the things you love. Your allergist can set you on the right track for handling your allergies and asthma in the long term. Find expert care with your allergist.

Brooke's Story

Brooke would be an inspiration even if she didn’t have asthma. At age 30, the mother of three decided to start running. What began as an urge to just get out of the house blossomed into a passion for running marathons to raise money for organizations that help underprivileged children. Brooke has run in races all over the globe. Her sneakers have pounded the earth past near Ayers Rock in Australia and the Great Wall of China, on Easter Island and, most recently, in Antarctica. But she is quick to acknowledge that she couldn’t have done it without the help of her allergist.

She had completed 10 marathons when one day she realized she wasn’t performing at her usual level. Her lungs ached and pushing herself harder only seemed to make her feel worse. “My training partner knew what it was. She told me I had asthma and to see this allergist who works with elite athletes,” Brooke says.

Results from a spirometry, or lung-function, test stunned her. She blew into the measurement device at 20 percent less than an average woman her age. Brooke worked with her allergist to devise a regimen that would let her keep doing what she loved most: running, “By working with, not against, my body,” she says, “I’ve extended my warmup and cool-down periods, and I use medication strategically to prevent or treat symptoms. I carry my bronchodilator inhaler with me at all times.”

Brooke knows she’s lucky her training partner recognized right away that she might have asthma. “I wonder how many other people out there are going about their lives, maybe even pushing themselves like I was, unaware that they have asthma or another respiratory condition,” she says.

“It can happen to anyone, even elite athletes. That’s why it’s so important to let people know to seek care if you have symptoms.”