Asthma: How to Overcome Treatment Obstacles - Topic Overview
Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that may
last throughout your life—you must treat it long term. But following a
management plan can be difficult over a long period of time.
Here are some reasons you may not follow your management plan. Possible solutions are listed too.
Asthma management plan problems
Reasons you might not follow plan
You may not fully understand the seriousness of asthma. Some
adults who have mild symptoms may not feel that treatment is
Learn all you can about asthma. Even if you
have no symptoms, asthma can hurt your lungs, possibly leading to worse
symptoms later in life.
Understand the benefits of treating asthma
and the risks of not treating asthma.
It may be difficult to visit or communicate with a doctor or pharmacist. This could be because of distance and a lack of
transportation, cultural or language barriers, a lack of trust, or
miscommunication. All of this can lead to little guidance about what to
Work with others to ensure that you have
transportation to your doctor and pharmacy.
your doctor to develop personal goals and expectations for your
If you do not understand something, ask about
If you do not feel comfortable with your doctor,
consider looking for a new one.
If language is a problem, have a
friend help you or get in touch with a social organization.
Often it is hard for a child to follow the management plan,
because the child must rely on the help of family members and other
Asthma management plan problems for children
Reasons children might not follow
In single-parent families, a parent may not always be available
to help the child remember to take medicine. It also may mean that a child
has sole responsibility for treatment.
Talk to friends, neighbors, and school
administrators about your child's asthma and what they can do to
Help your child understand what he or she can do for the
The child may have many caregivers, making it hard for the
child to be on a regular schedule.
Print a calendar with the child's schedule
and who is responsible on each day. Be sure to give a copy of the schedule to all caregivers.
Be proactive about calling other caregivers to be sure
everyone understands what has to be done.
Teach your child to be
proactive in working with caregivers and understanding what he or she has to do
for the condition.
A shortage of school health professionals may make it hard to
help the child remember to take medicine or to take it correctly.
Contact the school principal, other
administrators, teachers, counselors, and coaches. Make sure they all
understand that your child has asthma and how important it is that he or she
takes the medicine.
If possible, find one person in the school
who will see that your child takes his or her medicine.
your child's friends to see if they can help remind your child to take the
Oral corticosteroid syrup (such as methylprednisolone) has a
bitter taste, and some young children will vomit or refuse their
Work with your doctor. There
may be other brands or other medicines your child can take.
You may be concerned about the effect of inhaled steroids on your child's growth or health.