What is asthma?
Asthma Action Plan
- An Asthma Action Plan is a written plan created with a doctor to help do normal everyday activities without having asthma symptoms. It explains what to do when the person with asthma feels well or experiences symptoms, and how to prevent and recognize an asthma emergency
- Everyone with asthma should have an Asthma Action Plan in writing from their medical provider
Signs and symptoms of asthma
Knowing early warning signs of asthma can prevent emergencies. The common symptoms of asthma include:
- Coughing, especially at night, during exercise or while laughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
* Sickle cell disease is a chronic, genetic blood disorder. It causes painful attacks that can be difficult for patients to manage. Asthma is more common in children with sickle cell disease.
What causes asthma?
We can’t always say what causes asthma. But, there are many things we know that often contribute to developing asthma. These include:
- Family history/genetics
- Premature birth
- Lung infections
- Occupational exposures
What triggers asthma?
Asthma triggers are different for everyone. People with asthma should know their triggers and avoid them or prevent exposure.
- Common allergic triggers: pollen, pets, or dust mites
- Non-allergic triggers: smoke, chemical fumes, strong odors, extreme weather conditions, exercise, illness, or intense emotions
Diagnosis, prevention and control
How is Asthma Diagnosed?
Doctors or specialists diagnose asthma using a combination of tools. This includes a patient’s medical and personal history, physical exam, and lung function test.
While everyone's asthma is different, a few things can benefit everyone:
- Avoiding, eliminating, and managing triggers that make asthma worse
- Taking medications as instructed, including:
- Daily or controller medication(s)
- Emergency, rescue or quick relief medication(s)
There are many types of medications in different combinations. Work with your doctor to find the right one.
Asthma Action Plan
Have an Asthma Action Plan! This is a written plan created with a doctor to help manage and control asthma. It provides guidance when anyone with asthma feels well, experiences symptoms, and experiences an emergency.
In Case of an Emergency
Always have an emergency rescue inhaler and emergency contact on hand. When in doubt, call 911!