Up until now, doctors could only take an educated guess as to how much medication someone with intermittent asthma needs. Now there's a device called the NIOX that measures the exact level of inflammation happening in those airways. It's similar to the way you track a person's blood pressure.
"It's a technology that allows for the first time to have some kind of what we call 'biomarker' to see what's going on with asthma," said Dr. Jacob Offenberger, an asthma and allergy specialist.
NIOX measures exhaled nitrous oxide, the chemical excreted from inflammatory cells. Dr. Offenberger says not only is it helpful in diagnosis, it can also help him figure out the best way to treat.
It's peace of mind for asthma sufferers.
Dr. Offenberger says the NIOX device is relatively new and it's just starting to pop up at doctor's offices.
He says if you're using your rescue inhaler more than twice a week, it's time to get your asthma re-evaluated.