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Your Asthma Action Plan

By Conaway, Brenda

An asthma action plan is a set of instructions created by you and your doctor that maps out how to manage your asthma. It should cover the following areas.

Medication use

You are probably taking at least two medicines to prevent and treat symptoms. Some asthma drugs are taken every day. Others are taken only when you have asthma symptoms or before exercise. Your plan will clearly explain the medicines you take, what they do, and the proper dosage for each.

Triggers

It may seem like your asthma comes and goes with no pattern. But flare-ups can often be traced to asthma triggers, such as dust mites, pet dander, tobacco smoke, or strong fragrances. Your action plan should list all your known triggers so that you can limit or avoid your exposure to them.

Peak-flow numbers

One way to predict whether an asthma attack might occur is to use a peak-flow meter. When you blow into this hand-held device, it provides a reading that reflects how well your lungs are working. Your doctor will help you create a scale that tells you when your lungs are at your personal best (green zone), are 50 to 80 percent of your personal best (yellow zone), or are less than 50 percent of your personal best (red zone).

Emergency response

Specific written instructions can help you know what to do if your asthma flares up. Your action plan will explain when you can try treating yourself, when you should call your doctor, when you should go to an emergency room or call 911, and when to begin oral steroid therapy.

Medical Reviewer: [Garvey, Chris, FNP, MSN, MPA, Lee Jenkins ] Last Annual Review Date: 2008-04-15T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright Health Ink & Vitality Communications

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