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Some people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also have asthma. Both of these problems can damage your lungs. This makes it very important to control them.
Asthma causes the airways that lead to the lungs to swell and become narrow. This makes it hard to breathe. You may wheeze or cough. If you have a bad attack, you may need emergency care.
There are two parts to treating asthma.
You and your doctor can make an asthma treatment plan that will help. This plan tells you the medicines you take every day to reduce the swelling in your airways and prevent attacks. It also tells you what to do if you have an asthma attack.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Controller medicines reduce swelling in your lungs. They also prevent asthma attacks. Take your controller medicine exactly as prescribed. Talk to your doctor if you have any problems with your medicine.
Use your asthma action plan when you have an attack. Your quick-relief medicine, such as salbutamol, will stop an asthma attack. It relaxes the muscles that get tight around the airways.
If your doctor prescribed corticosteroid pills, take them as directed. They may take hours to work, but they may shorten the attack and help you breathe better.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: February 24, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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