Question:What kind of test do I do to find out whether I have exercise-induced asthma?
Answer: To find out whether or not a patient has exercise-induced asthma, first of all we will often be very aggressive of our diagnosis to make sure that they have asthma. Once we find that out, then we would expect that they would exacerbate with exercise.
And we do have some specific tests that we can do to really find out if they have exercise-induced asthma. And some of those tests involve in the office, putting folks on a treadmill or a bicycle, and having them exercise for about six minutes, and then checking their lung function up until 20-30 minutes after the exercise to see if there's a drop in their lung function. And that's a great way to find out if they have exercise-induced asthma.
Sometimes we'll actually take patients out and have them perform the sport that they're having trouble with. For example, a football player -- we take him out to the field have him do six minutes of drills, and then test his lung function. Or have somebody actually outside running and doing those things, and then test them.
There are other ways to do it in a laboratory. One is called eucapnic hyperventilation where we actually have the patient breathe very quickly some cool dry air, and that will trigger bronchoconstriction or it'll drop their lung function. Another way is to breathe in hypertonic saline or real salty water and that's also a trigger that's real specific for exercise-induced asthma.