Spirometry: A device called a spirometer is one of the ways that we can assess your lung function. We will measure how much air you can move in and out of your lungs as well as how fast you can move it. We use this test to diagnose and understand the severity of asthma, COPD and other lung disorders and to check how well your treatment plan is helping your lung function.

Exhaled Nitric Oxide: Nitric oxide is produced when there is allergic inflammation in the lungs. This test is most commonly used to help make the diagnosis of asthma as opposed to other lung problems that don’t result in an increase in nitric oxide production, such as COPD and non-asthmatic chronic cough. Since inflammation is an indication of asthma, the results of this test can determine whether steroids will be an appropriate treatment. It also helps us decide whether you might benefit from increased medication dosage if your lung function still isn’t normal after completing your initial treatment plan.

Impulse Oscillometry: This technique is used by less than 1% of allergists worldwide but is a new and exciting way of detecting abnormal function well before any other symptoms develop in children. It is very common for young children to cough more severely and for longer than others whenever they get a viral infection. Traditionally, we treat these infections like asthma, but new information indicates that in some of these children who show an abnormality in impulse oscillometry, we have found that the lungs of these children don’t grow and develop normally. Even worse, if this inflammation isn’t treated early, we can see abnormal, permanent changes in the lungs as early as age 20. Fortunately, studies have shown that we can avoid this problem when we use tools like impulse oscillometry to more thoroughly assess what is going on in the lungs of these young children. At AASC, we are proud to be able to offer this exciting diagnostic opportunity to our patients.

Body Plethysmography: Although it requires more sophisticated equipment and more time to complete the various evaluations, plethysmography is an advanced form of lung function testing that gives us a lot of information. We can not only see how well the lungs work, but also how well they work in conjunction with the chest wall, or how much lung tissue destruction may have resulted from cigarette smoking, working in polluted environments, or from other causes. It helps find out whether someone has asthma, COPD, or elements of both, and is most useful at helping us figure out right from the start what treatment option will work best, rather than take the standard of care trial and error medication approach.