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Asthma Health Center

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Keeping an Asthma Diary

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By monitoring the severity of your asthma symptoms using a peak flow meter and practicing self-management using peak flow zones, you can live an active life free of asthma symptoms.

Another component of this self-management is an asthma diary. Keeping a daily asthma diary can help you monitor asthma triggers and asthma medications. The asthma diary is used to:

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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.

Each day:

  • 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.
  • Fill in the total number of puffs of the short-acting beta 2-agonist (your rescue or quick-acting inhaler) used over the past 24 hours.
  • Rate any asthma symptoms you had during the day.

Remember to take the asthma diary to each doctor visit so your doctor can assess how well your asthma treatment plan is working.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 27, 2014
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