A physical exam is an important part of diagnosing any medical condition. At your appointment, your doctor ask you about your symptoms and personal and medical history. Specifically, they will ask about your symptoms, lifestyle, family history and medical conditions.
For example, if you have a family history of asthma, allergies or skin allergies, that means you have a chance of also having these conditions. This tells the doctor that they should look for signs of asthma. If they think you might have asthma based on the information you give them, they will do a physical exam.
During a physical exam for asthma or allergies, your doctor will look at your ears, nose, throat, eyes, skin, chest and lungs. They may:
- Listen to your lungs for wheezing or whistling that could mean inflammation
- Look in your nose and throat for swelling and drainage that could be caused by allergies
- Check your skin for signs of atopic dermatitis, also called eczema
- Take an X-ray of your lungs and sinuses
- Perform tests to rule out other conditions
If your doctor finds signs of asthma, they will discuss with you about options for lung tests. There are several types of lung function tests.
If your doctor thinks you have allergic asthma – asthma triggered by things you are allergic to – they may encourage you to do allergy testing as well.
Medical Review December 2017.