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Allergy Crystal Lake - Fan Choice Aword Dr. Hahn
Allergy Crystal Lake - Fan Choice Aword Dr. Askenazi

Barrington, breathe easier knowing true nature of your asthma via lung function testing

People with allergies have hypersensitive immune systems. Their body mistakenly sees a substance as harmful and reacts by setting off a chain of events that results in bothersome and even life-threatening symptoms.

People with asthma have hypersensitive airways. Asthmatics’ respiratory tracts react to triggers. This reaction produces symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

The most common asthma trigger is allergies. Asthma may be diagnosed with lung function testing.

This type of testing is effective once you understand how asthma affects lung function.

Asthma’s effect

When you breathe in, the lungs help transport oxygen vital for body function. The “waste gas” is then released from the body as carbon dioxide. When you have asthma, the respiratory system doesn’t function correctly, which results in breathing problems.

As an outside trigger sets off an overreaction, the asthmatic’s airways constrict. The airway’s inner wall thickens. Mucus builds up. Taken together you can see how the airways become blocked. When the airways are blocked, they can’t breathe easily. Since children’s airways are even smaller, their shortness of breath can be much more pronounced.

Lung function tests assess how well the lungs work. They can also be used to assess the effectiveness of medications prescribed to control breathing problems.

How it works

There are many different types of lung function tests. One of the most common is known as “spirometry.” The test gets its name from the spirometer machine that measures a number of ways your lungs are functioning. The key measurements used to gauge how well your respiratory system is working include:

  • The biggest volume of air you are able to exhale after breathing in as deeply as possible. A lower than normal Forced Vital Capacity indicates breathing restrictions.
  • The amount of air exhaled out of your lungs in one second. Drs. Askenazi and Hahn use this Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV-1) to assess the severity of breathing problems. The lower the reading is, the greater the obstruction.

The test is simple and quick. You will be asked to breathe into a tube. Our specialists will prompt you to breathe in certain ways, which correspond with the measurements collected to assess the nature and severity of your breathing problems. This tube sends data to the spirometer where this information is analyzed.

Keep in mind that the lung function testing offered near Barrington may also be used to determine other suspected lung conditions such as COPD and emphysema. Additionally, Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois offers a number of other tests to diagnose the cause of symptoms. These tests can identify the many other “triggers” behind asthma, such as food allergies. Call 847 888 8802 to schedule an evaluation.

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