Misdiagnosis of Asthma
Misdiagnosis of Asthma
Prompt diagnosis and treatment of asthma is vital to preventing serious, even life threatening complications, such as pneumonia and respiratory arrest.
In some cases, a diagnosis of asthma may be overlooked or delayed because the symptoms may be mild. Additionally, not all symptoms of asthma are always related to asthma. Wheezing, a whistling sound made during breathing, is typical of asthma. However, wheezing and other symptoms such as chest tightness, coughing, and shortness of breath can also be due to other conditions, such as bronchitis, colds, or pneumonia. Serious cardiovascular diseases, such as congestive heart failure, also have similar symptoms.
Only a thorough evaluation by a professional health care provider can determine what is causing symptoms and how to treat them. Because asthma is a serious, potentially fatal disease, it is vital that people with symptoms of asthma seek prompt medical care....more about Asthma »
Although the exact situation with regard to asthma prevalence and diagnosis is unclear,
there are certainly some populations in which asthma is under-diagnosed.
Some sources claim asthma is under-diagnosed in children,
with episodes of wheezing not considered possible cases of asthma,
and thus not seeking diagnosis and treatment for asthma.
However, other sources state that asthma is over-diagnosed in children.
Asthma is also probably under-diagnosed in the elderly....more about Asthma »
Alternative diagnoses list for Asthma:
For a diagnosis of Asthma,
the following list of conditions
have been mentioned in sources
as possible alternative diagnoses
to consider during the diagnostic process for Asthma:
Diseases for which Asthma may be an alternative diagnosis
The other diseases for which Asthma
is listed as a possible alternative
diagnosis in their lists include:
Rare Types of Asthma:
Asthma: Medical Mistakes
Related medical mistakes may include:
Asthma: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:
Common Misdiagnoses and Asthma
Mild worm infections undiagnosed in children: Human worm infestations, esp. threadworm, can be overlooked in some cases,
because it may cause only mild or even absent symptoms.
Although the most common symptoms are anal itch (or vaginal itch),
which are obvious in severe cases,
milder conditions may fail to be noticed in children.
In particular, it may interfere with the child's good night's sleep.
Threadworm is a condition to consider in children with symptoms such as bedwetting (enuresis),
difficulty sleeping, irritability, or other sleeping symptoms.
Visual inspection of the region can often see the threadworms, at night when they are active,
but they can also be missed this way, and multiple inspections can be warranted if worms are suspected.
See the introduction to threadworm.
Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the
more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed
(it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect).
One of the most common misdiagnosed is for children with mesenteric adenitis
to be misdiagnosed as appendicitis.
Fortunately, thus misdiagnosis is usually less serious than the reverse failure to diagnose appendicitis.
Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue
with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure.
The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to accurately
test a child's blood pressure.
This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a child with hypertension.
The problem even has a name unofficially: "small cuff syndrome".
See misdiagnosis of hypertension.
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be
correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients.
These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can also occur in children.
See misdiagnosis of migraine or introduction to migraine.
Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases
are difficult to diagnose.
Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer often fail to be diagnosed early.
Some of the chronic lung diseases with diagnostic difficulties
include asthma (perhaps surprisingly), COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, mesothelioma,
smoker's cough, AIDS-related respiratory conditions (see AIDS), chronic pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases.
Rare possibilities include diseases like psittacosis (bird-related lung infection).
See other types of chronic lung diseases.
Asthma: Rare Types
Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:
Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Asthma:
The following medical news items
are relevant to misdiagnosis of Asthma:
Misdiagnosis and Asthma deaths
Asthma is a condition
that can possibly be deadly if misdiagnosed...more »
General Misdiagnosis Articles
Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.
When checking for a misdiagnosis of Asthma
or confirming a diagnosis of Asthma,
it is useful to consider what other
medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative
conditions relevant to diagnosis.
These alternate diagnoses of Asthma may already have
been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible
alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Asthma.
For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases,
see Overview of Misdiagnosis.
» Next page: Undiagnosed Asthma
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