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Understanding Asthma Signs and Symptoms

Keeping your asthma under control is the goal of asthma management. Proper asthma management will allow you to enjoy a normal and active life. We hear the instructions for proper asthma care over and over which can cause us to become lazy and complacent. However, to avoid as much asthma trouble as possible, we need to remain vigilant in managing our daily care and symptoms, and know what to do when asthma symptoms get worse.

Asthma is Controlled
Here is a list of signs indicating your asthma is well-controlled:

• You experience no limitations in daily activities.

• You need to use your rescue inhaler two times a week or less.

• Your peak flow is at 80% or better of your personal best.

• You experience daytime symptoms less than two times per week.

• You experience nighttime symptoms less than twice a month.

• Your asthma symptoms require steroids once a year, or less.

If your asthma is under control, then the only maintenance you’ll need is take all medicines as prescribed, avoid your asthma triggers, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest.

Asthma is Unstable
Asthma can quickly become unstable and spiral out of control. Here is a list of common signs your asthma is becoming unstable; even having just one of these can be an indication your asthma is not under control:

• You need to use your rescue inhaler more than two days a week.

• You experience limitations in daily activities.

• You experience nighttime symptoms more than three times per week.

• Your peak flow reading is from 60% to 80% of personal best.

• You need to use your rescue medication more than twice a week.

• Your asthma attacks require steroids more than once a year.

If you find your asthma has become unstable, then be sure to follow the asthma action plan developed by your doctor, and take your peak flow three times a day, or as directed by your health care provider, in order to monitor your peak flow. If symptoms persist it’s important to contact your doctor for help in getting your asthma stabilized and back under control.

Asthma is Poorly Controlled
Here is a list of signs indicating your asthma has become very poorly controlled and/or you are having an asthma attack. Contact your doctor or heath care provider for assistance if you have even one of these signs:

• Your daily activities are severely limited.

• Your daytime symptoms persist all day.

• You need to use your rescue inhaler several times a day.

• You have nighttime symptoms more than four nights a week.

• Your peak flow is less than 60% of personal best.

• Your asthma attacks require oral steroids more than twice a year.

Other important signs of a serious asthma attack are severe wheezing (in or out), uncontrollable coughing, rapid breathing, chest pain or pressure, very tight neck and chest muscles, difficulty talking, blue lips and/or fingernails, and worsening symptoms even with the use of your rescue inhalers. If asthma symptoms have reached this point it is necessary to take emergency action by calling your doctor and possibly going to the hospital.

Staying aware of your asthma symptoms and understanding these asthma control signs can help to keep you breathing easy, and even more, can save your life or the life of a loved one. Asthma can be controlled by following all directions from your doctor and taking your medications as prescribed, avoiding your asthma triggers, and staying healthy by eating right and getting plenty of rest. Be sure to manage your and your child’s asthma in order to have the best life possible.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Sherry Vacik. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sherry Vacik. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sherry Vacik for details.



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