Your Control on AsthmaMarch 2, 2014

Control your Asthma


In order to ensure that your asthma is not getting ahead of you and the treatment referred to by your allergy clinic doctor is working, you need to understand your asthma control. This involves keeping a track of your symptoms and actively participating in your allergy clinic doctor’s treatment, ensuring that your lungs are fine. The following are 4 steps that will help you exercise better asthma control, avoid any long term issues and prevent future asthma attacks –

Doctor with Inhaler
1. Symptoms – Keep a track of your symptoms and jot them down in a diary to show them to your doctor at the allergy clinic. The symptoms could be as follows –

• Wheezing and shortness of breath;
• Problems in sleeping because of wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath;
• Tightness in the chest and chest pains;
• Necessity to use quick relief inhaler;
• Disruptions in day to day life because of asthma symptoms getting out of hand;
• Symptoms of asthma while exercising;
• Marked changes in the color of cough or phlegm during coughing;
• Symptoms of fever like runny nose or runny nose; and
• Triggers that seem to make your asthma worse.

If your symptoms appear less than or equal to 2 days a week, your asthma control is good.

2. Nighttime Awakenings – According to Asthma studies, sudden death due to respiratory arrest in asthma patients (both children and adults) occurs between 12am (midnight) and 8am in the morning. Thus, for ensuring that your control over asthma is proper, you have to keep a note of your nighttime awakenings due to asthma symptoms. Almost 74% of asthmatics wake up at least once every week because of their symptoms and 64% wake up more than 3 times. About 40% wake up daily. If your nighttime awakenings are less than 2 times a month, your asthma control is good.

3. Use of Rescue Inhaler – In quick relief inhalers, albuterol or similar medication that acts fast is present. This is why they are called ‘rescue inhalers’ because they quickly open up the airways and make it easier to breathe properly. It is important for all asthmatics to have these medications (ask your allergy clinic for one) and learn how to use them because they could save your life. However, these medications are just emergency medications but if you find yourself using your rescue inhaler on a regular basis, it could signal poor control over asthma. If your use your inhaler less than or equal to 2 days every week, your asthma control is good.

4. Peak Flow or PEF – PEF is one of the lung function tests that you can either have your allergy clinic doctor perform on you or you can perform it yourself. A peak flow meter is used through which you can find out the rate at which your lungs force out the air. If your current peak flow is equal to or more than 80% as compared to your best peak flow, your asthma control is good.

Allergy and Clinical is an allergy clinic in Pittsburgh, PA, and you should visit it for more information about controlling your asthma.