Asthma in Teens and Adults - Living With Asthma
You can control the impact
asthma has on your life by following your asthma
action plan consistently. A management plan can help you reduce
inflammation to decrease the severity, frequency, and
asthma attacks. Following your action plan may be hard
because of the many different factors involved.
To help yourself
remain consistent in following your asthma action plan:
- Educate yourself about asthma. By doing so, you can
learn to control symptoms and reduce the risk of asthma attacks. This
questionnaire can help you find out what you already
know about asthma and what you may need to discuss with your doctor.
- Understand your
barriers and the solutions to overcome them. What may prevent you from
following your plans? These may be physical barriers, such as living far from
your doctor or pharmacy, or emotional barriers, such as having undiscussed
fears about the condition or unrealistic expectations. Discuss your barriers
with your doctor, and work to find solutions.
- Develop goals that
relate to your quality of life. Being able to measure your success gives you
greater motivation to follow asthma plans consistently. Decide what you want to
be able to do. Have nights free of symptoms? Be able to exercise on a regular
basis? Feel secure in knowing you can deal with an asthma attack? Work with
your doctor to see if your goals are realistic and how to meet them.
Your asthma action plan generally consists of the
- Seeing your doctor regularly to
monitor your asthma. The frequency of checkups depends
on how well your asthma is controlled. Checkups are recommended every 1 to 6
months. Bring your asthma plan to appointments.
- Following your
asthma action plan. The plan describes which medicines
to take every day to help delay the long-term effects of asthma. The action
plan also contains the steps to treat asthma attacks. It helps you better
control your asthma attacks by keeping you aware of symptoms and of how to make
quick decisions about medicine and treatment. See an
example of an asthma action plan(What is a PDF document?). You may also have an
asthma diary where you record your
peak expiratory flow, symptoms, and triggers of asthma
attacks. This tool can help you manage your asthma too.
For more information on how to monitor and treat asthma,
- Asthma: Taking Charge of Your Asthma.
- Asthma: Using an Asthma Action Plan.
To effectively manage your asthma and use your asthma
action plan, you will have to know how to monitor your peak airflow, identify
asthma triggers, and take your asthma medicine correctly.
Monitoring peak expiratory flow
underestimate the severity of their symptoms. They may not notice symptoms
until their lungs are functioning at 50% of their personal best measurement.
peak expiratory flow (PEF) is a way to keep track of
asthma symptoms at home. Doing this can help you know when your lung function is
becoming worse before it drops to a dangerously low level. You can do this with
peak flow meter. For more information, see:
- Asthma: Measuring Peak Flow.
Identifying asthma triggers