Breathe Easier with an Asthma Action Plan

If you have asthma, it’s important for you to work with your doctor to create an Asthma Action Plan that’s right for you. Print a copy of the Asthma Action Plan and take it with you to your next appointment. It can help you decide whether to call your health care professional or go to the emergency room.

If your child has asthma, he or she should also have an Asthma Action Plan. Be sure to give a copy of it to their caregivers, such as the babysitter, the nursery school or the school nurse so they will be prepared in an emergency.

What is Your Peak Flow Rate?

If your asthma is moderate to severe, it’s a good idea to use a peak flow meter to track your asthma. The meter measures how well air moves out of your lungs. Knowing your rate can help you decide if your asthma is getting worse — even before you feel symptoms.

Monitor Your Asthma Symptoms

Keep a diary to help you track and monitor your symptoms and control your asthma. A diary can be an important tool to share with your health care professional to determine if your asthma is staying the same or getting worse.

Keep track of the following to help you understand when your symptoms occur:

  • Daytime Symptoms How often do you have asthma symptoms during the day, such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath?
  • Nighttime Symptoms Do you wake up at night with asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath?
  • Rescue Inhaler Use How often do you use your rescue inhaler to relieve asthma symptoms?
  • Activity Level Do you have difficulty performing normal activities, such as walking, climbing a few stairs, daily chores or playing with your pets or children?

Know When to Take Your Medicine

Your asthma action plan will include your medicine information as well as what to do:

  • When you are feeling well
  • When you have asthma symptoms
  • If your asthma symptoms get worse

The Asthma Action Plan should include the names of your medicines, when to take your rescue or controller medicine and how much to take. The dose and frequency may change depending on your current asthma zone. It is important to take your medicine(s) as prescribed by your doctor.

Learn more about asthma: