Why You Need an Asthma Action Plan

action plan  300x200 Why You Need an Asthma Action Plan PhotoThe experience of asthma in adults varies widely, from “It’s not that big of a deal” to “I can’t breathe at all.” In all, more than 25 million Americans (adults and children) struggle with the effects of asthma on their breathing—and their daily lives.

There is no cure for asthma, and triggers and treatments differ from person to person; but with the right diagnosis and treatment, you can learn how to manage your asthma and live a normal life.

If you are one of the millions of Americans affected by asthma, make the right treatment decisions by working with your doctor to create an asthma action plan. Your action plan should include clear, up-to-date information on:

  • Your asthma triggers, and specific ways to prevent exposure to them
  • Steps to take if you have asthma symptoms or an asthma attack, including when to call the doctor and seek emergency care
  • The names and dosages of all your medications, the schedule and methods for taking them and guidelines for when and how to increase the dosage or add medication as needed
  • Guidelines for exercising and/or participating in sports
  • A schedule for using your peak flow meter to measure how well you can breathe
  • Your personal best peak flow meter reading (to compare with daily readings)
  • Guidelines for when to call your doctor about a peak flow reading

Your asthma action plan should also include emergency phone numbers and facility locations. Always keep a copy on you and have a copy in a prominent location in your home or office and another with a family member or friend who can help you in an emergency.

Use your action plan every day to keep track of your symptoms and triggers and update it each time you see the doctor, or at least every six months.

Learn more about asthma diagnosis, treatment and management by visiting our care guide.