Here are seven simple steps you can take to improve your asthma management and prevent asthma attacks.
- Develop a treatment plan. You and your healthcare professional should create a written plan to help you manage your asthma. National treatment guidelines recommend daily use of inhaled corticosteroids as the preferred therapy for people with persistent asthma (symptoms more than twice a week). Ask your doctor if this therapy is right for you.
- Avoid your asthma triggers. Talk with your healthcare professional about things that make your asthma worse, and try to stay away from them as much as possible.
- Keep track of your asthma. A daily symptom and medication journal can help you and your healthcare professional see how your treatment plan is working. Ask if you should use a peak flow meter to monitor your breathing at home.
- Take your medicines as your healthcare professional prescribes. If you’re prescribed a daily preventative medicine to prevent symptoms, make sure you take it every day as prescribed—even if you’re feeling well—so that it keeps working the way it’s supposed to.
- Learn to use a peak flow meter. It’s a simple hand-held tool that your healthcare professional may prescribe for you to use at home. By blowing into it, you can learn how well air flows out of your lungs. This helps you know how well your asthma is being controlled.
- Always carry your rescue inhaler (such as albuterol) with you, and use it as needed when you have symptoms. But keep in mind, if you’re using your albuterol inhaler more than twice a week, this may be a sign of poor asthma control. Talk with your healthcare professional.
- See your healthcare professional at least every six months and review your Asthma Action Plan.
Remember, your asthma does NOT go away when your symptoms go away. Asthma is a chronic disease that is with you all the time, even when you feel fine. Work with your healthcare professional to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you, and stick with it!