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3 Asthma Tests Used to Diagnose Eosinophilic Asthma

3 Asthma Tests Used to Diagnose Eosinophilic Asthma

Max Lab

Dec 22, 2023

Eosinophilic asthma is a subtype of asthma that is characterized by elevated levels of eosinophil, a type of white blood cell, in the airways. White blood cells play a crucial role in protecting one’s body from infections, but when built up in excess, they may cause inflammation and swelling in the airways and other parts of the respiratory system.

In order to diagnose this type of asthma, a healthcare practitioner may examine one’s symptoms and order certain tests that measure several markers such as the amount of eosinophil in one’s body.   On the basis of the examination and test results, the diagnosis of eosinophilic asthma can be done and an appropriate treatment plan can be recommended.

Three Common Asthma Tests Used To Diagnose Eosinophilic Asthma

Asthma tests play a crucial role in identifying eosinophilic asthma, allowing healthcare professionals to tailor treatment plans more effectively. One’s doctor may order a specific test or a combination of various tests to obtain a comprehensive understanding of one’s respiratory condition.

There are three main tests that one’s doctor may prescribe to measure the level of eosinophil in one’s body. These are:

  • FeNO Test (Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide Test)

One of the most important tests for eosinophilic asthma is the FeNO test. It is a non-invasive test that measures the levels of fractional exhaled nitric oxide, a gas that is produced by the cells in the airways when one exhales. Elevated levels of FeNO may be indicative of increased inflammation in the respiratory tract, which may be caused by elevated levels of eosinophil. The test involves the individual breathing into a device that analyzes the concentration of nitric oxide in one’s breath.

  • Pulmonary Function Test (PFT Test)

The Pulmonary function test or the lung function test for asthma consists of a set of tests that evaluate how well one’s lungs are functioning. These asthma tests are important for the diagnosis and management of various respiratory conditions, including eosinophilic asthma. Spirometry is the most common form of PFT test for asthma. It is an important test that measures the amount and speed of air breathed in and out. By calculating how much air is in one’s lungs, it helps in assessing the extent of inflammation caused by eosinophil levels.

  • Blood Test For Eosinophilic Asthma

One’s healthcare practitioner may even order a blood test for measuring eosinophil levels in one’s body. The blood test may be a complete blood count with a differential of one’s white blood cells to reveal the amount of eosinophil in the blood. Higher eosinophil levels may indicate the presence of eosinophilic asthma. It is important to note that while a blood test for eosinophilic asthma provides information about the eosinophil levels in one’s blood, it is not a diagnostic tool, which means it may not confirm if one has eosinophilic asthma.

When Are These Tests Prescribed?

One may be prescribed tests for eosinophilic asthma on the basis of their symptoms, and medical history. The symptoms of eosinophilic asthma may be similar to those most commonly associated with asthma. However, it is different from other forms of asthma in that it presents a higher level of eosinophil. Moreover, the treatment for eosinophilic asthma also differs from other types of asthma.

 Some common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Chronic symptoms of sinus infections such as reduced sense of smell, stuffed nose and nasal drainage
  • Obstructed airflow
  • Nasal polyps

Recognizing one’s symptoms and taking the advice of a healthcare professional is crucial in getting a more accurate diagnosis and a successful treatment plan. Asthma tests such as blood tests, the FeNO test, and the Pulmonary Function test provide valuable insights for diagnosing eosinophilic asthma. Accurate diagnosis enables healthcare professionals to devise effective treatment plans, control symptoms and improve one’s overall quality of life.

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