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Asthma in adults: Creating an asthma action plan
Keep your action plan available
Once you and your doctor have developed your asthma action plan, keep it handy in case you have an asthma flare-up. Share your plan with a family member or friend who can help you in case of an emergency. Keep a copy in your wallet or purse in case an asthma attack occurs away from home. List your doctor's phone number, emergency phone numbers and the location of the nearest emergency room on your asthma plan. Always carry a rescue inhaler with you as well. Keep a second one at home as backup.
Meet regularly with your doctor
Work with your doctor to keep your asthma action plan current. Asthma changes over time, so your plan may need periodic adjustments.
- Go to every scheduled appointment. Review your asthma action plan at every doctor visit. Tell the doctor about any problems you're having sticking with the plan. These checkups are also a good time to double-check that you're tracking asthma symptoms accurately and using your medications properly.
- If asthma isn't under control, see the doctor. If you're following the action plan but symptoms still aren't under control, a treatment change may be needed. On the other hand, if your asthma is well controlled all of the time, the doctor may be able to reduce the amount of medication you take.
- Call the doctor if you have concerns. If you have any questions or you're simply concerned about your asthma signs and symptoms, call your doctor or schedule an appointment.
- See about a flu shot. Your doctor may recommend that you get a regular flu shot.
Having asthma shouldn't limit activities, interrupt sleep or leave you constantly worrying about having an asthma attack. By carefully following a written plan, you can keep your asthma well controlled — and minimize the disruptions it causes.Previous page
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- Expert panel report 3 (EPR3): Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Bethesda, Md.: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/asthgdln.htm. Accessed Sept. 28, 2010.
- Rank MA, et al. Formulating an effective and efficient written asthma action plan. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2008;83:1263.
- Mangan JM, et al. What do patients need to know about their asthma? http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2010.