Sweat Test For Asthma

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

Asthma is a condition that affects many people across the world. People suffering from this condition have active and dormant periods. During an active period, the presence of any allergen or irritant in the air may trigger what is known as an asthma attack. An asthma attack is a condition where the airways of an individual become blocked because the surrounding tissue starts to flare up and become heavily inflamed. Most people suffering from asthma have a partial or near complete closure of their airways, but not a complete closure. The blockage to the airway causes difficulty in breathing, dizziness, discomfort, nausea, and could also cause death if it leads to a complete blockage. Asthmatics are thus required to carry some form of nebulizer with them which allows them to spray a soothing anti-inflammatory drug straight into their airways. This spray immediately calms the inflammation down and allows the airways to reopen after the constriction is reduced by reducing the inflammation. Asthma is thus considered to be an emergency medical condition.

A sweat test is a chemical analysis that is conducted on the sweat of an individual. The sweat is produced by the body in order to cool itself down. Sweating allows the formation of sweat droplets on the skin. When exposed to air, the sweat tends to evaporate which causes immediate cooling on the skin surface. A sweat test is used to diagnose cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a condition where the production of sweat and mucus is affected because of a defective gene in the body. This is a life threatening condition that is progressive and eventually claims the life of an individual. Cystic fibrosis tends to affect the lungs and is therefore, sometimes, confused for asthma and vice-versa. The effect on the lungs is a result of the accumulation of mucus which causes the efficiency of the lungs to be lost.

A sweat test for asthma is actually a test used to rule out cystic fibrosis. There may be confusion about the root cause of the condition which leads to the ordering of a sweat test for asthma to clear the situation up. The correlation between cystic fibrosis symptoms and asthma is fairly rare and does not occur in most people with either condition. However, there is an overlap of symptoms for some people and that is why the sweat test for asthma needs to be conducted in order to confirm or rule out cystic fibrosis.

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