There is no disease more mysterious and elusive than bronchial asthma, as to both cause and cure, and no disease in the practice of medicine requires more painstaking study if a partial or complete relief is hoped for. The successful treatment of bronchial asthma depends largely on the diagnosis of its cause, or at least the elimination of organic disease with dyspnea or dyspneic attacks. The course which I pursue and find most satisfactory is as follows:
A thorough and exhaustive history should be taken because much can be learned from the history as to the patient's habits, his environment, his occupation, his food, and whether his attacks are seasonal or perennial in type. He should be thoroughly questioned as to the previous medical history, as many cases of asthma have been preceded by acute attacks of bronchitis, influenza, pregnancy or chronic thyroidism.
A complete physical examination should be made
WILMER HB. STUDIES IN THE TREATMENT OF BRONCHIAL ASTHMA. JAMA. 1927;89(12):956–959. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690120032011