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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 and triggers. It also tells you how to make quick decisions about medicine and treatment when you need to.

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

  • Your asthma action plan describes which controller 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. See an example of an asthma action plan(What is a PDF document?).
  • Use an asthma diary to help manage your asthma. Record your peak expiratory flow or your symptoms, or both. Also list the cause of your symptoms and what medicines you took for quick relief.
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