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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 make 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 to feel well and stay healthy. Take all medicine as directed, especially controller medicines. These prevent and control asthma symptoms. Take them even if you feel that your asthma is under good control. You may also need quick-relief medicines. They ease symptoms when you have them. These are long-term tasks. But the more you stay in control, the better you’ll feel. Keeping your asthma in control can:

  • Help make sure asthma symptoms don't cause you to miss school, work, or activities that you enjoy

  • Protect you from asthma flare-ups that can be dangerous, or even deadly

  • Make it less likely that you will need emergency care

  • Prevent lasting damage to your lungs

Tips for staying healthy

Woman using peak flow meter.
Peak flow monitoring helps measure how open your airways are.

Man using metered-dose inhaler with spacer.
Taking medicine as prescribed helps you control your asthma and ease 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, cat, and plants.
Staying away from triggers—the things that inflame your airways—will help prevent symptoms and flare-ups.

Your Asthma Action Plan

Your healthcare provider will help you prepare, and when needed, update your personal 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. Keep a journal of your symptoms and triggers. Write questions you have about your asthma management in your journal, so you will remember to ask your provider. Take your journal and Asthma Action Plan with you when you visit your healthcare provider. That way, your treatment plan can be reviewed and updated regularly.

Online Medical Reviewer: Deborah Pedersen MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2022
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