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Health Information For Teens
An asthma action plan is a set of instructions that you create with your doctor to help you control your asthma. Following the plan can help you prevent flare-ups and deal with them if they do happen.
Having a written, step-by-step plan means that you don’t have to memorize everything your doctor tells you about managing asthma. You can keep a copy with you at all times or memorize key parts of it.
The plan can help you make sure your asthma doesn’t get in the way of playing sports, working out, going to parties, or doing whatever you want to do. Make it work for you!
Asthma varies from person to person, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all asthma action plan. But all action plans will say what to do if you have a flare-up. The plan also will explain what medicines you need to take and when, and when you need to call the doctor or go to the ER.
If you use a peak flow meter, the action plan’s color system makes it easy to figure out which instructions apply to you. The “zone system” is based on the colors of a traffic light. They use symptoms (and peak flow readings) to help you decide what zone your asthma is in:
You’ll want to put your “personal best” peak flow reading on the plan so you’ll have something to compare the new numbers with.
Your action plan also may include a list of triggers and how to avoid them, and things to do before exercising, if that’s a trigger for you.
For your asthma action plan to work, you have to follow it even when you feel OK. Review the plan with your doctor and make sure you understand it. Talk with your doctor if you have ideas for making the plan work better for you. For example, your doctor might change the time of day that you take your asthma medicine so it fits into your schedule.
Also tell your doctor if you don’t seem to need your quick-relief medicine as much anymore. If your asthma is well controlled, your doctor might reduce the amount of long-term control medicine you’re taking.
Visit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma.
Asthma is more common these days than it used to be. The good news is it’s also a lot easier to manage and control.
Two different types of medicines are used to treat asthma: long-term control medicines and quick-relief medicines. Read about how they work, and why people might need to take them.
Asthma is a lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. Learn all about asthma here.
Each day you breathe about 20,000 times. Find out more about the lungs and breathing process.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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