Asthma is a long-term disease that requires long-term care. Successful asthma treatment requires you to take an active role in your care and follow your asthma action plan.
Asthma is a long-term disease that requires long-term care. Successful asthma treatment requires you to take an active role in your care and follow your asthma action plan. To cope with asthma, partner with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan. This plan will help you to properly take your medicines, identify your asthma triggers, and manage your disease if asthma symptoms worsen. Children aged 10 or older—and younger children who can handle it—should be involved in developing and following their asthma action plan.
Most people who have asthma can successfully manage their symptoms at home by following their asthma action plans and having regular checkups. However, it's important to know when to seek emergency medical care.
Use Medicines Correctly
Learn how to use your medicines correctly. If you take inhaled medicines, you should practice using your inhaler at your doctor's office. If you take long-term control medicines, take them daily as your doctor prescribes.
Keep Track of Lung Functioning
Record your asthma symptoms as a way to track how well your asthma is controlled. Also, you may use a peak flow meter to measure and record how well your lungs are working.
Keep Record of Peak Flow
Your doctor may ask you to keep records of your symptoms or peak flow results daily for a couple of weeks before an office visit and bring these records with you to the visit.
These steps will help you keep track over time of how well you're controlling your asthma. This will help you spot problems early and prevent or relieve asthma attacks. Recording your symptoms and peak flow results to share with your doctor also will help him or her decide whether to adjust your treatment.
Have regular asthma checkups with your doctor so he or she can assess your level of asthma control and adjust your treatment if needed. Remember, the main goal of asthma treatment is to achieve the best control of your asthma using the least amount of medicine. This may require frequent adjustments to your treatments.
If it's hard to follow your plan or the plan isn't working well, let your health care team know right away. They will work with you to adjust your plan to better suit your needs. Get treatment for any other conditions that can interfere with your asthma management.
How to tell if asthma is getting worse
Your asthma may be getting worse if:
- Your symptoms start to occur more often, are more severe, and/or bother you at night and cause you to lose sleep.
- You're limiting your normal activities and missing school or work because of your asthma.
- Your peak flow number is low compared to your personal best or varies a lot from day to day.
- Your asthma medicines don't seem to work well anymore.
- You have to use your quick-relief inhaler more often. If you're using quick-relief medicine more than 2 days a week, your asthma isn't well controlled.
- You have to go to the emergency room or doctor because of an asthma attack.
If you have any of these signs, see your doctor. He or she may need to change your medicines or take other steps to control your asthma. Partner with your health care team and take an active role in your care. This can help control asthma so it doesn't interfere with your activities and disrupt your life.
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