Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease, which can be controlled but not cured.

In clinical practice, asthma is defined by the presence of both of the following:

  • Excessive variation in lung function (‘variable airflow limitation’, i.e. variations in expiratory airflow that is greater than that seen in healthy people)
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. wheeze, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness) that vary over time and may be present or absent at any point in time.

There is not a singular test that can diagnose asthma, our GP’s work with our patients to determine:

  • Previous history of a recurrent or persistent wheeze
  • Family history of asthma or allergies
  • Absence of physical findings that suggest an alternative diagnosis
  • Testing of variable airflow limitations
  • A consistent clinical response to an inhaled bronchodilator or preventer.

Management

  • Adults
  • Children

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