Asthma Control

You will learn to take care of your asthma over time. For now, you will be off to a good start if you know just five key things:

Asthma can be managed so that you can live a normal life.

Your asthma should not keep you from doing what you want. It should not keep you from going to work or school. If it does, talk to your doctor about your treatment.

Asthma is a disease that makes the airways in your lungs inflamed.

This means your airways are swollen and sensitive. The swelling is there all of the time, even when you feel just fine. The swelling can be controlled with medicine and by staying away from things that bother your airways.

Many things in your home, school, work, and other places can cause asthma attacks.

An asthma attack occurs when your airways narrow, making it harder to breathe. Asthma attacks are sometimes called flare ups, exacerbations, or episodes. Things in the air that you are allergic to (like pollen) can cause an asthma attack. So can things that bother your airways like tobacco smoke. You can learn to stay away from the things that cause you to have asthma attacks.

Asthma needs to be watched and cared for over a very long time.

Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be treated. You can become free of symptoms all or most of the time. But your asthma does NOT go away when your symptoms go away. You will need to keep taking care of your asthma. Also, over the years your asthma may change. Your asthma could get worse so you need more medicine. That's why you need to keep in touch with your doctor.

Asthma can be controlled when you manage your asthma and work with your doctor.

You play a big role in taking care of your asthma with your doctor's help. Your job is to:

  • Take your medicines as your doctor suggests,
  • Watch for signs that your asthma is getting worse and act quickly to stop the attack,
  • Stay away from things that can bother your asthma,
  • Ask your doctor about any concerns you have about your asthma, and
  • See your doctor at least every 6 months.

When you do these things, you will gain — and keep control of your asthma.

Materials were compiled from the National Institute of Health at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Lung Association.