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FeNO Test

Hi. Yesterday when I went to my second opinion asthma specialist she gave me a FeNO (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) test. I have never had this test before. It measures the level of inflammation in you lungs. I was surprised to learn that it is not a new test. I'm wondering why my allergist/asthma specialist and my pulmonologist have never given me this test.

Have you had a FeNo test?

Do you have a FeNO test every time you see your asthma doctor?

If you have had a FeNO test, does your doctor use the information to adjust your medication?

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Comments 32

  • LK

    The first time I had this test was a few months ago at my pulmo appointment.  I had never even heard of it before that.  He did not change my meds after the test.  Don't think it will be a regular test for me since he did say that since I am already on Breo Ellipta, a corticosteroid, my good test numbers weren't really indicative of how my lungs are doing, since the Breo is reducing the inflammation.  I think I got a 13 on the test.

    Lisa

  • MMKB

    Thanks for your replies. My test showed I have intermediate inflammation even though I receive a monthly Nucala shot and I take Breo, Spiriva, Qvar and Singulair daily.

  • Pljohns

    MMKB-I’ve had 2-3 or these and unfortunately, my insurance doesn’t cover them!  The cost was widely different-from $20 to a little over $100 for the exact same test.  Pulmo has always told me it would indicate to them if I needed to add more/another inhaled steroid.  I don’t remember what I scored on them but it was good enough they didn’t make any changes to my meds at all.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, MMKB, on the inflammation even though you are taking lots of different medicines. That has to be frustrating. Have you had a chance to talk to your doc about the test results?

    Lynn, the variation of the test cost would frustrate me as well! Is it because of where the test was taken — in network versus out of network? Or is it not covered at all, and so a location sets its own price?

  • Pljohns

    I never did figure it out other than yes, apparently they set their own price.  It was in network on both locations but not covered.  My pulmo's office charged $20-UAB asthma clinic charged $100.

  • K8sMom2002
    Pljohns posted:

    I never did figure it out other than yes, apparently they set their own price.  It was in network on both locations but not covered.  My pulmo's office charged $20-UAB asthma clinic charged $100.

    Oh, my goodness! What a variation! Do you think, if you were calling ahead before a test like that, that the hospital and the pulmo would give you the cost in advance? So that you could get the test done at the less expensive price?

  • Pljohns

    I've just learned now that the test isn't covered-both were done in a physicians office so I don't know what the difference was but unless it's absolutely necessary, I won't do it again.

  • MMKB

    Thanks for your messages. I sure hope my insurance covers my test!

    K8SMOM2002 – My doctor said to continue my current medications.

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    In June, when I was having a lot of problems, my score was 10…the PA said that anything below 25 was ok. When I saw my allergist last week, I scored a 7, so I think the Qvar is definitely keeping me healthy. My next appt is on October 22nd, and I'm guessing I'll have it again since the last three appts I have had it. 

    Brenda

  • Pljohns

    I saw on the BLOG that Aetna is now covering this test-maybe the rest of the insurances will follow the same pattern soon!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hopefully so, Lynn! It sounds like it gave you good information.

    MMKB, did your insurance cover the test?

  • MMKB

    Hi Melissa G,

    Thanks for asking about my health.

    Yes, I have been having more allergy and asthma problems since the end of August. I can't spend more than about 10 minutes outside at time. This makes it very hard for me to attend my daughter's outdoor soccer games. If possible, I sit in my vehicle and watch from a distance. I do have a mask I can wear too.

    Today, I had another exposure at work. Someone didn't clean up after themselves in the instructional kitchen and left food in the garbage disposal that was moldy. This resulted in allergy and asthma problems. This bums me out because my plans for my day have to be changed once again ! 

    How are you doing?

     

     

     

  • Melissa G

    Oh MMKB, this just breaks my heart! I am so very sorry.  Does wearing the mask help at all?

    We are doing well, thanks so much for asking! 

  • Melissa G

    I bet! I only have to wear a disposable mask when I access my daughter's port a cath (central line) and I am so ready to pull that thing off and I only wear it for about 10 minutes. 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    The vog mask has cut down on the humidity inside the mask…the only time I had real trouble with it was this weekend when I was playing kickball with my daughter (it was Cops versus kids!) this weekend…it was so humid out I kept fogging up my glasses.  I was sweating so much and it was only 75 degrees!!  Crazy.

    Normally the vog mask does not fog up my glasses–that's one of the reasons why I really like it.  Hopefully when the weather cools off, it will be easier to wear the mask.  

    Brenda

  • K8sMom2002

    MMKB and Lynn, I thought about this thread when AAFA posted a new blog post on the latest Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guide's recommendations about the FeNo test.

    It's a lot to digest … but it might be worth talking to your doctor about …

  • Pljohns

    My new pulmo will do FeNo in the exam room but so far, our insurance hasn't decided to cover it.

  • Pljohns

    Cynthia-thankyou for posting this-just read it and unfortunately, it's for allergic/eosinophilic asthma.  Mine is neither 

  • LK
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    MMKB and Lynn, I thought about this thread when AAFA posted a new blog post on the latest Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guide's recommendations about the FeNo test. . 

    It's a lot to digest … but it might be worth talking to your doctor about …

    A question – I'm not sure I am clear on allergic and non-allergic asthma.  I understand that some people have one or the other but wouldn't it be possible to have both?

    It seems articles that I have read refer to asthmatics as having only one or the other.  Just makes sense that a person's triggers could be from allergies to dust mites, pollen, dander, etc. and also to strong scents, smoke, etc.

    Any clarification is appreciated!  

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Lisa, that is a good question–I would think that people could have both too. When I go in to see my allergist next, I'll ask her and see what she says.

    Brenda

  • Pljohns

    As one who has non allergic asthma, I don't understand how you can have both.  If you asthma is triggered by an allergy to something then it should be allergic asthma.  They have tested me for every allergen possible and everything comes back negative-I'm not allergic to anything so there is never any idea what will trigger my asthma.  it's confusing at best!

  • Melissa G

    Lynn, I think the problem is allergy testing is not 100% accurate. The only things I test positive to are dust and mold. But I am definitely allergic to some trees…I am a mess in the spring and something in the fall gets me every year. Luckily the allergist saw me on no antihistamines, not a pretty sight! I couldn't get my contacts in and my face looked terrible, from sneezing to watery eyes. 

  • LK

    Lynn,  That makes sense that if your asthma is triggered by an allergy then it is classified as allergic asthma.  I see what you are saying that it then couldn't be classified as non-allergic asthma but I am just thinking that treating just the allergic part might miss treating the non-allergic triggers.    Okay, not "treating" the non-allergic triggers but determining what they are.  

    Not sure I am stating what I mean very well.

  • K8sMom2002

    Lynn, since studies show that FeNo is good for monitoring some types of asthma, maybe more studies will show whether it will be just as good for monitoring non-allergic types of asthma.

    I definitely get triggered by both allergens (hay, pollen) and other irritants like smoke, perfumes and abrupt changes in temperature or air pressure.