A new study indicates as many as one in three individuals with a current diagnosis of asthma may have been misdiagnosed. This apparently is not uncommon when proper testing is not obtained with initial diagnosis. This study emphasis that diagnosis and long term management of asthma requires objective measurements of lung function and that without pulmonary function data in long term asthma management, misdiagnosis can often occur. We routinely perform breathing tests at Charleston Allergy & Asthma including spirometry, impulse oscillometry and methacholine inhalation challenge.
Spirometry testing offers objective measurements of lung function with numbers versus subjective measures (for example, “you don’t sound so good” or “I’m short of breath”) of your lungs. This testing can be performed on older children and adults. Impulse oscillometry is a very simple test which only requires quiet, easy breathing for 20 seconds and can be accomplished by children as young as 18 months. Methocholine inhalation challenge is a confirmatory test for asthma in individuals that have unusual or atypical chest symptoms which suggest but do not confirm a diagnosis of asthma. Methocholine challenge testing can be administered on children and adults.
A misdiagnosis of asthma can result in taking unnecessary medications, medications which can cause side effects, can be costly and may result in you limiting your activity for months to years for no reason. And don’t forget that only 10+ years ago, an asthma diagnosis would have impacted your ability to obtain health insurance.
If you think you or your child might have respiratory issues or were give an asthma diagnoses without proper lung function measurements, please give us a call for an evaluation.