During an asthma attack, the airways
swell and narrow. This makes it hard to breathe. Asthma is a lifelong problem,
but it does not have to limit you. If you take charge of your asthma, you can
lead a full and active life.
You and your doctor will make an
asthma action plan that outlines the two approaches to
taking charge of asthma:
Using the asthma action plan also helps you keep track of
your asthma and know how well your treatment is working.
If you or
your child has been recently diagnosed, it may seem like there is a lot to
remember. But the things you need to do to take charge of your asthma are
really quite simple. With some practice, they will become part of your normal
An action plan is based on zones defined by your symptoms, your peak flow, or both. There are three zones: green,
yellow, and red. Your action plan tells you what to do when you are in each zone.
Check your symptoms and/or peak flow on a regular basis, and use your action plan to see what zone you are in.
If you have yellow zone symptoms or your peak flow drops below 85% of your
personal best measurement, follow your action plan. To
figure out what 85% of your personal best measurement is, multiply your
personal best measurement by 0.85. For example, if your personal best peak flow
is 400, then 85% of that is 400 times 0.85, which is 340. To figure what 60% of
your personal best peak flow is, multiply your personal best measurement by
It’s important to monitor your peak flow:
Keep your regular follow-up appointments. During
checkups, your doctor will ask if your symptoms and/or peak flow have held steady,
improved, or gotten worse. He or she will also ask if you have asthma symptoms during
exercise or at night. This information can help your doctor know if your
asthma category has changed or if you need to change
medicines or doses.
When you go to your doctor:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineDonald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Current as ofAugust 18, 2016
Current as of:
August 18, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
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