Tests can be carried out to diagnose cystic fibrosis at any age.
Most cases are now detected soon after birth through newborn screening, but older children and adults with symptoms of cystic fibrosis who weren't screened can also have tests to check for the condition.
Tests to find out if you are a "carrier" of the faulty gene responsible forcystic fibrosismay also be recommended for some people.
Anewborn blood spot test is now offered to all babies in England to help detect problems early on, including cystic fibrosis.
When your baby is five to eight days old, a health professional will prick their heel and collect drops of blood on a special card. The blood is then sent to a laboratory to be checked for abnormalities that could indicate cystic fibrosis.
You should receive the results by the time your baby is six to eight weeks old. You will be contacted sooner if a problem is found, and you'll be asked to attend a hospital appointment.
The screening result isn't 100% accurate, so more tests will be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. You, your partner and any other children you have may also be tested to see if you carry the faulty gene that causes cystic fibrosis (see below).
Tests to confirm a diagnosis will be carried out if screening suggests that your child may have cystic fibrosis, or your doctor thinks you could have the condition and you haven't been screened previously.
Two main tests can be used to diagnose cystic fibrosis:
The sweat test is most commonly used, althoughgenetic testing may be done if the sweat test result is inconclusive or to identify the specific genetic fault that's causing the condition.
Testing tofind out if you carry the faulty gene that causes cystic fibrosis may be useful if:
This can be done using a blood test, or occasionally a special mouthwash, to collect a sample of cells. The sample is then sent to a laboratory so it can be checked for the faulty gene.
Finding out whether you're a carrier of the faulty gene can help determine if you're at risk of having a child with cystic fibrosis.A genetic counsellorwill explain the results of the testto you and discuss the implications and options available forfuture pregnancies.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition in which the lungs and digestive system can become clogged with thick, sticky mucus. Read about the symptoms, causes and treatments.
Cystic fibrosis can cause a range of problems. The lungs and digestive system are the main areas that are affected.
Cystic fibrosis is caused by a faulty gene that a child inherits from both their parents. The condition is present from birth and cannot be caught from someone else who has it.
Read about the tests that may be carried out to diagnose cystic fibrosis, including newborn screening tests, the sweat test and genetic testing.
Read about the main treatments for cystic fibrosis, including medications, airway clearance techniques, nutritional advice and lung transplants.
Lauren, 14, talks about living with cystic fibrosis and how she doesnt let it stop her from doing the things she loves.