Asthma in Teens and Adults - Overview
You will need routine checkups with your doctor to keep
track of your asthma and decide on treatment.
How is it treated?
There are two parts to treating
asthma, which are outlined in the asthma action plan. The goals are to:
- Control asthma over the long term. The
asthma action plan tells you which medicine to take. It also helps you track
your symptoms and know how well the treatment is working. Many people take
controller medicine-usually an inhaled
corticosteroid-every day. Taking controller medicine
every day helps to reduce the swelling of the airways and prevent attacks. Your
doctor will show you how to use your inhaler correctly. This is very important
so you get the right amount of medicine to help you breathe
- Treat asthma attacks when they occur. The asthma action
plan tells you what to do when you have an asthma attack. It helps you identify
triggers that can cause your attacks. You use quick-relief medicine, such as
albuterol, during an attack.
If you need to use the quick-relief inhaler more often
than usual, talk to your doctor. This is a sign that your asthma is not
controlled and can cause problems.
Asthma attacks can be
life-threatening, but you may be able to prevent them if you follow a plan.
Your doctor can teach you the skills you need to use your asthma action
How can you prevent asthma attacks?
prevent some asthma attacks by avoiding those things that cause them. These are
called triggers. A trigger can be:
- Irritants in the air, such as cigarette smoke
or other air pollution. Don't smoke, and try to avoid being around others when
- Things you are allergic to, such as pet dander, dust
mites, cockroaches, or pollen. When you can, avoid those things you are
allergic to. It may also help to take certain kinds of allergy
- Exercise. Ask your doctor about using a quick-relief inhaler before
you exercise if this is a trigger for you.
- Other things like dry,
cold air; an infection; or some medicines, such as aspirin and other
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Try not
to exercise outside when it is cold and dry. Talk to your doctor about vaccines
to prevent some infections. And ask about what medicines you should
Sometimes you don't know what triggers an asthma attack.
This is why it is important to have an asthma action plan that tells you what
to do during an attack.