- Whether there’s a family history of asthma;
- The pattern of the symptoms;
- A physical chest examination;
- Peak flow/lung function test (child must be over 5 years old);
- A trial of asthma treatment.
- Spirometry; a simple breathing test that gives measurements of lung function including a reversibility test that measures lung function before and after a dose of reliever to see if it has improved your lung function. This can be helpful with asthma diagnosis.
- Peak Expiratory flow rate measurements (PEFR); another simple breathing test which may be measured over a period of time, when one has symptoms or even when symptom free, performed in a GP surgery, hospital or even at home.
- An exercise test to check if exercise worsens the symptoms
Asthma is difficult to diagnose in children under the age of two. This is because wheezing and respiratory infections, such as bronchiolitis, are common in young children and the symptoms are often very similar to asthma.
If your child is under two and the symptoms are bad or persistent, your doctor may decide to give them a trial of asthma medication to help make a diagnosis.