Working together, you and your doctor can design a step-by-step plan for living with your condition and preventing asthma attacks.
- Develop a written asthma plan: Work with your doctor to write a detailed plan to manage your asthma and then be sure to follow it. The plan may include medication and instructions on when and how to take it, what to do in an emergency and what could trigger your asthma, etc. Your plan will be specific to your needs.
- Identify and avoid asthma triggers: A number of things can trigger asthma attacks. Find out what causes or worsens your asthma and take steps to avoid those triggers.
- Monitor your breathing: Learn to recognize warning signs of an impending attack, such as slight coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath. Because your lung function may decrease before you notice any symptoms, regularly measure your peak airflow.
Identify and treat attacks early: When your peak airflow measurements decrease and alert you to an impending attack, take your medication as instructed and immediately stop any activity that may have triggered the attack. If your symptoms don't improve, get medical help as directed in your action plan.
- Don't stop taking your medication: Just because your asthma seems to be improving, don't stop taking your medication without first talking to your doctor.