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This is

Maria

Maria is 52. She went to her local respiratory clinic when she had a cough that wouldn't go away. She told the doctor that she had previously had COVID-19 but, during her appointment, there was no sign of the cause of Maria's cough or any other symptoms. The doctor thought the problem could be more complicated and decided to check for asthma.

The doctor wanted to see whether Maria had any inflammation in her airways because this can be a sign of asthma so she tested Maria's FeNO level. Maria was able to blow out gently and steadily to complete the test without any difficulty. Maria's FeNO level was 7 ppb. This is low and within the normal range.

The doctor also tried to test Maria's lungs using spirometry. This is a test to measure how much air you can breathe out in one forced breath. Unfortunately, Maria had difficulty blowing into the machine and was only able to make minimal effort. Testing FeNO is often easier for the patient than performing spirometry and with Maria's low FeNO score, the doctor knew that Maria did not have airway inflammation. She was able to reassure Maria that she was unlikely to have asthma so they could look at other reasons for her cough.

All stories are real patient stories. Names, ages and genders may have been changed to preserve anonymity.

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