A COPD diagnosis needs your signs and symptoms, medical history, family situations, smoking history, as well as your working conditions.
However, even with so many questions above, COPD is commonly misdiagnosed. For example, former smokers with simple deconditioning lung condition may be told a COPD. Meanwhile, many with COPD cannot be diagnosed until it is advanced.
So what can we do to avoid this mistake? The following five tests are helpful.
Pulmonary function tests
These tests are to see the air amount that you can inhale and exhale, as well as if your lungs are delivering enough oxygen to blood.
Spirometry is the most common used test, which depends on the spirometer. This machine measures how much air your lungs can hold and how fast you can blow them out.
In fact, spirometry can detect COPD effectively without symptoms. It can track the progression of disease and show the effectiveness of the treatment.
Emphysema is one of the main causes of the COPD, and a chest X-ray is especially accurate for the emphysema diagnosis. Furthermore, it can rule out other lung problems or heart failure.
Ct scan is beneficial in many ways. Firstly, it can be used for emphysema. Besides, it helps the doctor to analyze benefits from surgery for COPD. Also, it can work as lung cancer screener.
Arterial blood gas analysis
This blood test can show your lung of bringing oxygen into your blood and removing carbon dioxide.
Laboratory tests are usually used for determining the cause of your symptoms.
If you have a family history of COPD, or your COPD history starts under 45, this test is good for you to check the genetic possibility out of alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAt) deficiency.
With these five tests in your diagnosis report, you can receive a more accurate outcome and start the correspondent treatments.