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Controlling Your Asthma

You can do a lot to manage your asthma and improve your quality of life. You will need to work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan. But it’s up to you to put this plan into action.

Why You Need to Take Control

You need to control the inflammation in your lungs. You also need to relieve symptoms when you have them. These are long-term tasks. But the more you stay in control, the better you’ll feel. If you don’t stay in control:

  • Asthma symptoms may cause you to miss school, work, or activities that you enjoy.

  • Asthma flare-ups can be dangerous, even deadly.

  • Uncontrolled asthma makes it more likely that you will need emergency department and in-hospital care.

  • Uncontrolled asthma may cause permanent damage to your lungs.

Woman using peak flow meter.

Peak flow monitoring helps measure how open your airways are.

Man using metered-dose inhaler with spacer.

Taking medication helps you control your asthma and relieve symptoms when they occur.

Red, yellow, and green traffic light.

Using an Asthma Action Plan will help you keep track of and respond to asthma symptoms.

Cigarette in ashtray.

Avoiding triggers—the things that inflame your airways—will help prevent symptoms and flare-ups.

Your Action Plan

Your healthcare provider will help you prepare, and when needed, update and Asthma Action Plan. Your plan tells you what to do based on your current symptoms. If you don't have an Asthma Action Plan, or if yours isn't up-to-date, make sure you talk with your healthcare provider.

Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically-affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 8/18/2014
© 2000-2016 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.