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Doctor insights on: If You Fail A Pft Does It Mean You Have Asthma

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If you fail a pft does it mean you have asthma?

If you fail a pft does it mean you have asthma?

Not necessarily: "failing" a pft can mean the presence of obstruction like in asthma or COPD but there can also be restrictive lung disease which is caused by a whole lot of diseases including fibrosis, musculoskeletal disease, etc. There is also a diffusing capacity which could be abnormal due to many factors. So, not all abnormal pfts mean asthma is present! ...Read more

Pulmonary Function Test (Definition)

Pulmonary function tests is a term used to describe a group of tests done to determine lung function. Spirometry measures the amount of air that can be taken in as well as the flow rate of forcefully exhaled air . A graph is generated and can be used to determine lung function. Likewise lung volumes and diffusing capacity determine the capacity as well as ...Read more


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PFT shows decreased diffusion capacity and I have been experiencing dyspnea and gradually worsening. Does this mean it's just asthma?

No : Asthma doesn't affect diffusing capacity, but COPD does. You should discuss this with the physician who ordered the test. If you don't get the answers you need, make an appointment with a pulmonologist, get a copy of the report, and take it with you. ...Read more

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Just had a pft and was told that I have small airway disease showing obstructions in my small airways. What does that mean? I.E. Asthma or COPD or something else? Born at 27.5 weeks and on vent as baby.

Just had a pft and was told that I have small airway disease showing obstructions in my small airways. What does that mean? I.E. Asthma or COPD or something else? Born at 27.5 weeks and on vent as baby.

Asthma: The most typical reason for "small airway" disease in someone young is asthma or viral infection. Prematures can also have chronic lung disease and it is possible for those changes to be permanent.
If you have asthma (and probably even if you have chronic lung disease from being premature) you can improve your lung function with appropriate therapy.
Pulmonary anti-inflammatory therapies are key. ...Read more

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My doctor did a pft test on me and said I have asthma but i would like a second opinion where in las vegas should I go for that?

My doctor did a pft test on me and said I have asthma but i would like a second opinion where in las vegas should I go for that?

Allergist or pulm.: Pft's can help make the diagnosis, but symptoms and response to medication are often needed to confirm. If there was a significant change after bronchodilator (medicine to open the airways) or methacholine (which causes constriction) that would help to demonstrate asthma. Smoking cessation is important for you, especially given your symptoms. ...Read more

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Hyperventilation syndrome vs. Hyperinflated lungs? How do I find out which one i have. Pft dr. Said I have asthma. My symptoms match chv. Need help...

Hyperventilation syndrome vs. Hyperinflated lungs? How do I find out which one i have. Pft dr. Said I have asthma. My symptoms match chv. Need help...

Follow your doc: Follow your doctor's advice and don't diagnose yourself. Symptoms can overlap between different entities and if they started you on a treatment plan, follow it. ...Read more

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Pulmonary function test in the past show asthma diagnosis. Tomorrow I have repeated pft for uncontrolled asthma. Any suggestions?

Pulmonary function test in the past show asthma diagnosis. Tomorrow I have repeated pft for uncontrolled asthma.  Any suggestions?

Asthma mgt: I would suggest asking for an interpretation in comparison with your prior test. PFTs are one part of the evaluation. If you have uncontrolled asthma, an asthma action plan and review of your medications and triggers is suggested. ...Read more

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Was told I had mild asthma because PFT came back Okay.. But i wake up at night and have trouble breathing after almost nothing. Is it severe? How tell

Was told I had mild asthma because PFT came back Okay.. But i wake up at night and have trouble breathing after almost nothing. Is it severe? How tell

Asthma: Night time cough can be a sign of asthma that is not well controlled and medicines may help, so please relay this information to your health care worker. ...Read more

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Copd at age 27? Had pft and diagnosed with asthma. 3+ months ago i had pneumonia. Now i'm having symptoms of hyperinflated lungs.

Copd at age 27? Had pft and diagnosed with asthma. 3+ months ago i had pneumonia. Now i'm having symptoms of hyperinflated lungs.

COPD: COPD is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. On xray...One will very commonly find hyperinflated lungs (by rib counting..Rough and dirty way). You should have pft's if you haven't already. Your not smoking i hope. There is good medical treatment out there. Go to your pcp or pulmonologist. ...Read more

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Do I have emphysema? 28 10 pack years. Constant sob. Anxiety. Pft normal with very low dlco. Smoked before test. Dr says asthma. What other causes?

Do I have emphysema? 28 10 pack years. Constant sob. Anxiety. Pft normal with very low dlco. Smoked before test. Dr says asthma. What other causes?

Low DLCO: In asthma FEV1 is < 80% w/ FEV1/FVC ratio preserved, In COPD FEV1/FVC ratio is <0.7, FEV1is normal or low depending on stage of COPD. Low DLCO seen in fibrosis, vasculitis, emphysema- alveolar ( gas exchange ) area reduced due to destruction. FVC is low in restrictive disease. Smoking can worsen results of the test. If DLCO is low one would expect low FEV1/FVC unless intersitial f/u/doc ...Read more

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2 yrs ago I developed inc hr w/ min exercise, asthma, angina, palpitations, fatigue, spasms, ha. Normal tests except pft and lines on cxr. What is it?

2 yrs ago I developed inc hr w/ min exercise, asthma, angina, palpitations, fatigue, spasms, ha. Normal tests except pft and lines on cxr. What is it?

Asthma?: Did your pft show asthma? Asthma not always shows on the pfts. But it would explain all of your findings. Lines on the cxr may be due to mucous plugging from the asthma. Have you been treated for that? ...Read more

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Can musculoskeletal tension, rhinitis, and anxiety cause breathing problems. I had pft which confirmed asthma. I don't take any medications. Should i?

Asthma: Yes but keep in mind people who are short of breath will also have increased muscle tension so difficult to tell cause and effect. Sounds like you would benefit from treatment-may be able to get by with treatment for rhinitis alone but for sure if you are symptomatic then you should be on therapy. ...Read more

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Pft shows high dlco and frc, normal volumes, mild obstructive ventilatory defect, increased capillary blood volumes, in context of ctd and cryofibrinogenemia (no asthma or smoking), what can be cause?

Pft shows high dlco and frc, normal volumes, mild obstructive ventilatory defect, increased capillary blood volumes, in context of ctd and cryofibrinogenemia (no asthma or smoking), what can be cause?

Unrelated: Ctd is usually associated with a diffusion problem in the lung but your showed above normal dlco. The study also showed mild airway obstruction which, along with the elevated dlco and FRC may well be from asthma. I am not away of any cryofibrinogenemia link to your lung function findings. See an allergist or pulmonologist. ...Read more

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36 yo w/symptoms of PF. Heart, asthma & infection ruled out. Pending PFT results. Could scarring bad enough to cause symptoms be missed by CXR?

36 yo w/symptoms of PF. Heart, asthma & infection ruled out. Pending PFT results. Could scarring bad enough to cause symptoms be missed by CXR?

Usually not...: Usually if you have lung scarring bad enough to cause symptoms, the chest x-ray should show some abnormality. But, the more sensitive test for this would be a high resolution chest cat scan. This test will show scarring that may be missed on the chest x-ray so, if there is any question, ask that this test be performed. Good luck!! ...Read more

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I have asthma and almost every day I have thick mucus So I'm worried will it lead to lung cancer in future? Even though my PFT results are not bad

I have asthma and almost every day I have thick mucus 
So I'm worried will it lead to lung cancer in future? 
Even though my PFT results are not bad

Do not worry: Asthma is not a predisposing factor for lung cancer. Do seek treatment for asthma as it has its own mortality risk without causing cancer. ...Read more

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I had a pft which shows "asthma". I have no problem inhaling fully, but exhaling is hard. My symptoms have gotten much worse after a chest infection.

Need evaluation: Pft can only show the degree of obstruction, whereas the diagnosis of asthma is a clinical one. For pts with asthma, chest infections can make things worse due to flare up of their airway inflammation. Sounds like you require urgent evaluation to treat acute symptoms & improve yr asthma management in the long run. Please talk to your doctor or an asthma specialist immediately. ...Read more

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Something has happened to my lungs 5 months ago when i had a chest infection and they won't get better. All symptoms point to copd. Pft showed asthma.

Treatment...: Treatment for asthma includes bronchodilator and steroid inhalers. If symptoms continue, there are other treatments, including evaluation by an allergist to aggressively treat diagnosed allergies. A lung specialist can also assist the family doctor with diagnosis and treatment, so see a lung doctor as well if symptoms persist. If pft is not showing chronic obstruction, COPD is unlikely. ...Read more

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Short of breath constantly. 27 year old smoker. 12 pack year history. Just quit. anxiety also. Dr suggests asthma. Pft normal. Low dlco. Copd?

Short of breath constantly. 27 year old smoker. 12 pack year history. Just quit. anxiety also. Dr suggests asthma. Pft normal. Low dlco. Copd?

See below: It would be hard to say without seeing all your numbers. PFT's are almost always normal with asthma. A low DLCO doesn't usually go along with asthma. I would be happy to review your tests with you if needed. ...Read more

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28 yo. Quit smoking two weeks ago. Tight chest. Pft nov Fvc 79 fev1 98% pft feb Fvc 110 fev1 115. Fev1/Fvc 83%. Both have low pef. Copd? Asthma?

28 yo. Quit smoking two weeks ago. Tight chest. Pft nov Fvc 79 fev1 98%  pft feb Fvc 110 fev1 115. Fev1/Fvc 83%. Both have low pef. Copd? Asthma?

Hard to tell,: With those findings, further testing is needed. Unlikely to be COPD, given your age, please keep the follow up with your doctor / pulmonologist for continuity of care and better management, take medicines as prescribed, good luck ...Read more

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If albuterol helps my chronic shortness of breath, and CT and blood tests were clear, is it definitely asthma? PFT only slightly below normal.

If albuterol helps my chronic shortness of breath, and CT and blood tests were clear, is it definitely asthma? PFT only slightly below normal.

Anemia: Iron deficiency anemia can be very common cause for diff.breathing.But first are u a smoker or r u overweight?do have high BP or any cough?Do you have any leg swelling?do u have any allergies or sinus symptoms?do u have headaches or heavy periods?do u have any history of blood clots in your legs or lungs? ...Read more

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Why is it that pneumonitis is common in doing chest X-ray as I have a very mild asthma according to the doctor who ordered pft to me? Also one doctor ordered antibiotic but symptoms of frequent cough still there and other doctor had given me corticosteroi

Why is it that pneumonitis is common in doing chest X-ray as I have a very mild asthma according to the doctor who ordered pft to me? Also one doctor ordered antibiotic but symptoms of frequent cough still there and other doctor had given me corticosteroi

Stick with 1 person: Sounds like you are shopping around for opinions. If you have chronic cough that is productive, there can be many causes. Working with one pulmonologist will help you get at the root of the problem. Asthma doesn't usually cause a productive cough, and most bronchitis is viral, so antibiotics won't work. Post nasal drip, allergies, chronic bronchitis, bronchiolitis, bronchiectasis, reflux, etc. ...Read more

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Have mucus that comes up into throat I assume from my lungs as my sinus' are clear. It has been going on for 5 years now with no diagnosis. Feel bad and sometimes a little short of breath, more a heaviness feeling. Have had pft and test for asthma, foo

Mucus: Did you had allergy test done. Do you have allergy symptoms. Chest radiograph needs to be performed as well. Are you a smoker?. Chronic allergies, chronic bronchitis , other chronic lung conditions/ infections can cough chronic cough with chest congestion. You are having short ness of breath as well - need to get further work up done or be referred to a pulmonologist. ...Read more

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Would a pulmonary function test accurately diagnose asthma?

Nearly essential: Asthma is not one illness, but several processes that appear in greater or lesser degrees in any one affected individual. Together they can lead to the functional problems we recognize as asthma. Pulmonary function tests measure air flow and volumes; accurately performed PFT's are indispensable in the diagnosis and management of asthma and COPD. ...Read more

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I had a pulmonary function test. I was curious and wondering can someone be accidentally diagnosed with asthma?

I had a pulmonary function test. I was curious and wondering can someone be accidentally diagnosed with asthma?

Hard to say: A lot of what is labeled as asthma may not turn out to be over the long run. Most true asthmatics have some related diagnosis in early childhood, males before one and females by three.Yet I have seen a 16 yo female with her first event.Many teens have transient exercised triggered wheezing, which is less worrisome and often fades with age. You can always under-perform on function tests. ...Read more

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How accurate is a pulmonary function test thats testing for Asthma? Mine came back normal. Could I still possibly have asthma?

Short answer is: Yes: You may have a mild form with little exacerbation but a reactive airway disease is present. If there are no exacerbations, no treatment is necessary, ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,038 doctors shared insights

Asthma (Definition)

A disease of the lungs caused by chronic inflammation of the airways most often caused by allergies. This inflammation results in airway swelling and hyperactivity leading to difficulty breathing, shortness of ...Read more