When asthma symptoms are in high gear and the wheezing and coughing sets in, it's the inhaler to the rescue -- the rescue inhaler, to be exact. If you have asthma, your rescue inhaler should be among the first things you reach for when you leave the house, along with your wallet and car keys.
How do rescue inhalers work, and why are they such a crucial part of managing asthma? WebMD consulted the experts to learn more about rescue inhalers, and the important role they play in asthma treatment.
Keep track of how often you use medications for a sudden asthma attack
Recording this information will help you recognize asthma attacks and head them off before you become seriously ill. Your doctor will also use this diary to evaluate how well your asthma action plan is working.
How Do I Keep a Daily Asthma Diary?
To keep a daily asthma diary, start by printing out a copy of an asthma action plan. We have a blank asthma action plan in this guide.
Next, determine and record your asthma zones. Place this information in your asthma diary so you can refer to it easily.
Fill in the date.
Measure PEFs using a peak flow meter, and record the readings in your diary. Be sure to measure PEF before taking your daily asthma medications.
Compare your PEF readings to your asthma zones.
If the highest PEF reading is less than 80% of your personal best, you must follow the instructions given by your health care provider in your asthma action plan. Also remember to check PEFs more frequently that day, including an evening PEF.