During an asthma attack, the airways swell and narrow. This makes it hard to breathe. Asthma is a lifelong problem, but it does not have to limit you. If you take charge of your asthma, you can lead a full and active life.
You and your doctor will make an asthma action plan that outlines the two approaches to taking charge of asthma:
Controlling asthma over the long term. Daily controller medicine helps reduce the swelling of your airways and prevent attacks.
Treating attacks when they occur. The action plan will outline the steps to take and medicine to use to treat asthma attacks.
Using the asthma action plan also helps you keep track of your asthma and know how well your treatment is working.
If you or your child has been recently diagnosed, it may seem like there is a lot to remember. But the things you need to do to take charge of your asthma are quite simple. With some practice, they will become part of your normal routine.
Avoiding asthma triggers whenever possible
Short acting reliever inhalers – these are used when needed to quickly relieve asthma symptoms for a short time by relaxing the breathing tubes.
Preventer inhalers – these are used regularly every day to reduce inflammation in the breathing tubes and stop asthma symptoms occurring.
Combined preventer and long acting reliever inhalers – these are used regularly everyday which helps to stop asthma symptoms occurring and relax the breathing tubes for a longer period.
You will usually draw up a personal action plan with your doctor or asthma nurse. This will include information about your medicines, how to monitor your condition and what to do if you have an asthma attack.