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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Asthma: Using an Asthma Action Plan
If you or your child has
asthma that requires daily treatment, it is important
to have an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan is a written plan that
tells you what asthma medicine to take every day and how to treat an
asthma attack. It can help you make quick decisions in
case you are not able to think clearly during an attack.
action plan usually includes:
Using an asthma action plan can help you stay active with
fewer asthma problems. Following your plan is a big step toward controlling the
disease so you can live the life you want.
asthma action plan has three zones. You can find out what zone you are in by
peak flow or symptoms. Peak flow is a measure of how
fast you breathe out when you try your hardest. You check your peak flow with a
peak flow meter, an inexpensive device that you can
use at home. Your doctor can show you how to use it.
The zones of
an asthma action planasthma action plan(What is a PDF document?) are based on the colors of a stoplight.
Red means STOP.
How can using an asthma action plan help
An asthma action plan tells you how to treat an
asthma attack early, before it becomes severe. The plan also will tell you what
to do if an attack becomes an emergency and where to get medical
Continue to Why?
asthma action plan takes the guesswork out of treating asthma attacks. It can
help you to:
An asthma action plan makes me more dependent on my
doctor for help.
An asthma action plan can help you take control
of your treatment and be more independent. It shows you how to treat asthma
attacks, so it can help you avoid going to the doctor's office or the hospital.
Continue to How?
After I make an asthma action plan, I never need
to change it.
An action plan may need to be adjusted over
time to give you the best control over your symptoms. Each time you see your
doctor, take your plan and your asthma diary and discuss how well treatment is
working to prevent or control asthma attacks.
Continue to Where?
If you have questions, take
this information with you when you visit your doctor. You may want to mark
areas or make notes in the margins where you have questions.
If you would like more information on asthma, the
following resource is available:
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
provides information and support for people who have allergies or asthma. The
AAFA has local chapters and support groups. And its Web site has online
resources, such as fact sheets, brochures, and newsletters, both free and for
Now that you have read this
information, you are ready to start using an asthma action plan. For related
Return to topic:
March 17, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Lora J. Stewart, MD - Allergy and Immunology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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