Eosinophilic asthma can be a challenge to manage. That’s in part because many people who have it don’t have a history of allergies that are known to trigger an asthma flare. Also, the disease is often severe, but the degree of seriousness can change over time.
One of the most helpful things you can do to help keep your symptoms in check is to track and record them.
Benefits of an Asthma Diary
Keeping a journal of how you feel throughout the day can help improve your quality of life. The list of symptoms becomes data that can guide your doctor’s decisions about your treatment. It also can help pinpoint triggers that may set off flares, so that you can better manage your symptoms.
If you have trouble breathing or other issues more than twice a week, your asthma is probably not well-controlled.
What to Record
It’s important keep detailed notes. Understand the possible symptoms of asthma so you know what relevant information to record. They may include if you:
- Have trouble breathing
- Feel tightness in your chest
- Have trouble with sleep
- Notice problems with your sinuses
- Find it hard to exercise
You should include these things in your diary:
- The date and time
- Your zones (green, yellow, or red, depending on the how severe your symptoms are)
- Peak expiratory flow, which measures how well your lungs work
- What you were doing at the time
- How often your symptoms happen and how strong they are
- How often you have to use bronchodilators, such as rescue medication, and how well it worked
- Number of emergency visits
- Missed workdays
- Any other factors, such as travel, new mediations, and other changes that might have affected your asthma
You can pick whichever method works best for you. The most important thing is to simply have a written record.
Paper journal. A small notebook can be a handy place to jot down how you feel over time.
Printed template. You can find a free blank diary template online and print it out. Many hospitals and university sites offer them. Keep the pages in a folder. Aim to log an entry at least once a week.
Apps. Download free or low-cost apps on your smartphone. Some let you track and organize information like your medications, triggers, and asthma action plan. Some also send you alerts, so you don’t forget to take your medication, and let you share the digital log with your doctor. Others pair with an inhaler attachment so it learns your asthma and can give personalized suggestions.
No matter which method you use, don’t forget to take your journal information to every appointment. Your doctor may identify common triggers and tweak your care plan if needed.