Skip to content

Asthma Health Center

Font Size

Asthma Action Plan: Yellow Zone - Topic Overview

An asthma action plan is a written plan of what to do if you have a sudden increase in your asthma symptoms (asthma attack). The yellow zone may mean that you are having an asthma attack or that your medicine needs to be increased.

In the yellow zone, your peak expiratory flow is 50% to 80% of your personal best measurement. To find 80% of your personal best, multiply your personal best measurement by 0.80. For example, if your personal best flow is 400, then 80% of that is 400 times 0.80, which is 320. And 50% of your personal best would be 400 times 0.50, which is 200. In this example, the yellow zone would be any value from 200 to 320. You may not have any symptoms, but your lung function is reduced. When symptoms are present, they may be mild to moderate, or they may keep you from your usual activities or disturb your sleep. Symptoms can include:

Recommended Related to Asthma

Living with Asthma

If you’ve been living with symptoms of asthma even for a short period of time, it’s still important to seek asthma help. You can get asthma help from experts such as your doctor or an asthma specialist and from other people who have asthma. The repeated bouts of congestion, wheezing, and gasping for breath can cause anyone to feel anxious, overwhelmed, and even defeated. Living with asthma symptoms can result in tremendous stress. Likewise, added stress can trigger asthma symptoms. So where do you...

Read the Living with Asthma article > >

  • Coughing and wheezing.
  • Feeling short of breath and having chest tightness. (Children may express chest tightness as a stomachache.)

Treatment for symptoms in the yellow zone includes the following:

  • Take your medicine according to your asthma action plan.
  • If symptoms do not improve within 20 to 60 minutes and your peak expiratory flow remains less than 70% of your personal best measurement, follow the red zone instructions of your asthma action plan, because your lungs are not responding to medicine.

If you keep going into the yellow zone from the green zone, talk with your doctor. Your regular medicine may need to be changed.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 14, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Asthma Action Plan: Yellow Zone Topics

    When Is Your Asthma Worse?

    When Is Your Asthma Worse?

    Take the WebMD Asthma assessment to get Personalized Action Plan

    Start Now

    Today on WebMD

    Lung and bronchial tube graphic
    5 common triggers.
    group jogging in park
    Should you avoid fitness activities?
     
    asthma inhaler
    Learn about your options.
    man feeling faint
    What’s the difference?
     
    Los Angeles skyline in smog
    Slideshow
    man in a field with allergies
    Slideshow
     
    Woman holding inhaler
    VIDEO
    Slideshow Allergy Myths and Facts
    Slideshow
     

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Man outdoors coughing
    Article
    Lung and bronchial tube graphic
    Article
     
    10 Worst Asthma Cities
    Slideshow
    runner
    Article