Using an asthma action plan is important if you have moderate to severe asthma or you've had a serious asthma attack in the past. Keeping a record of the asthma attacks makes it easier for you to check if your asthma is under control and also lets you know exactly what steps to take when it isn't. When asthma symptoms become visible and are diagnosed in adults, it is usually known as adult asthma.
Creating an action plan is necessary for an asthmatic patient since it can help at the time of emergency or an attack. The following can be a part of your plan:
- Track asthma symptoms: The plan will help you keep a tab on asthma signs and symptoms and record when your symptoms hold you back from doing the daily chores. You'll also need to track how often you use a quick-relief inhaler to relieve the symptoms.
- Identify and treat an asthma attack: Tracking symptoms everyday and adjusting treatment consequently improves asthma control and reduces the risk of having an asthma attack; but if the symptoms start to get worse, follow the action plan's instructions of using quick-relief medications or other steps to get the symptoms under control.
- Review of treatment: Adults with asthma are mostly checked by their healthcare provider every one to six months to evaluate the severity of the symptoms, frequency and response to treatment. If your control has been satisfactory for at least three months, your medication may be decreased. If control is not adequate, your medication schedule will be reviewed and your medication may be increased.
- Performing a chest X-ray: Your doctor might perform a chest x-ray to see the structures inside your chest including the heart, lungs and bones. By viewing your lungs, your doctor will be able see if you have a condition other than asthma that may explain your symptoms.
- Know when to seek emergency care: Some asthma attacks can't be managed at home. Use the action plan to identify the signs of a rapidly worsening asthma.
- Adjust medications: Your plan should state when you need to make medication adjustments based on the severity of your asthma symptoms. Make sure you understand what medications to use when, how to use them and what to expect.
- Avoid asthma triggers: The action plan should have a place for you to mark your asthma triggers and notes on how to prevent them. These may vary from person to person.
- Identify and treat an asthma attack: Keeping a track on the symptoms daily and adjusting the treatment accordingly improves asthma and lessens the risk of having an asthma attack; but if the symptoms get worse rapidly, follow the action plan's instructions of using quick-relief medications.
Follow the treatment plan you worked out with your doctor. This plan should list what to do when your asthma starts getting worse and how you must deal with an asthma attack in progress. Eat healthy and take your medications on time. Going according to this action plan may help you recover from asthma fast.