Asthma in Teens and Adults - Living With Asthma
You can control the impact
of asthma with an asthma action plan. A good action plan reminds you to take your daily controller medicines and to be aware of your symptoms. It also tells you how to make
quick decisions about medicine and treatment when you need to.
To manage your asthma and get the most out of your asthma
action plan, know how to monitor your peak airflow, identify
asthma triggers, and take your asthma medicine correctly.
Learn about asthma, and see your doctor
- Educate yourself about asthmaEducate yourself about asthma. Your doctor may give you a
questionnaire to help you find out what you already
know about asthma.
- See your doctor regularly to
monitor your asthma. How often you'll need checkups depends
on how well your asthma is controlled. Checkups are recommended every 1 to 6
months. Bring your asthma plan to appointments.
- Set goals that
relate to your quality of life. Being able to measure your success motivates you to follow your asthma plan 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.
- Know your barriers and solutionsKnow your barriers and solutions. What may prevent you from
following your plan? These may be physical barriers, such as living far from
your doctor or pharmacy. Or you may have emotional barriers, such as
fears about asthma, or unrealistic expectations. Discuss your barriers
with your doctor, and work to find solutions.
Follow your asthma action plan
- Asthma: Taking Charge of Your Asthma
- Asthma: Using an Asthma Action Plan
Monitor peak expiratory flow
It's easy to
underestimate how severe your symptoms are. You may not notice symptoms
until your lungs are functioning at 50% of your 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
getting worse before it drops to a dangerously low level. You can do this with
peak flow meter .
- Asthma: Measuring Peak Flow
Know your asthma triggers
trigger is anything that can lead to an asthma attack. A trigger can be smoke, air pollution, allergens, some medicines, or even stress. Avoiding triggers will help decrease the chance of
having an asthma attack.
- Asthma: Identifying Your Triggers
In the case of allergy triggers, avoiding them will help control
inflammation in the airways. If you have asthma triggered by an allergen, taking
antihistamine medicine may help you manage the allergy. It may limit the allergy's effect on your asthma.