Clinicians should include spirometry in their arsenal of weapons used to fight asthma and COPD, according to a presentation given at the ACP Internal Medicine Annual Meeting and reported by Healio. 

“Similar to COPD, spirometry is important in identifying airway obstruction to confirm the diagnosis for asthma,” McCormack said.

Pulmonary peak flow diary is another way to identify asthma, she said.

“An important thing to take away about asthma management is that inhaled corticosteroid treatment is by far the first line therapy for patients with asthma and our goal is symptom free and normal pulmonary function tests,” she said.

The least amount of medication that is needed to maintain control should be used in managing asthma, according to McCormack. To find that “sweet spot,” clinicians should titrate up if the patient is not well controlled and titrate down if the patient achieves stability, she advised.

“Another important feature of asthma management is to create a plan for the patient that will help them self-manage their own disease, such as an asthma action plan,” she said.