Asthma Action Plan


What is an Asthma Action Plan?

After being diagnosed with asthma, you and your doctor will draw up your written personal plan of treatment, called an Asthma Action Plan. If you don’t have one, make an appointment with your doctor to develop one as soon as possible.

An Asthma Action Plan should spell out:

  • how to treat your asthma daily
  • what to do when symptoms get worse
  • how to handle situations such as exercise or when you have a cold or virus.

Your Asthma Action Plan will change as your asthma improves or worsens. Review the plan with your doctor at every appointment, including follow-up visits when your asthma is under control.

Understanding Asthma magazine mockup with Asthma Action Plan form on the open page

Download Our Free “Understanding Asthma” Guide

As you are developing your plan with your healthcare team, go over every detail until you feel comfortable with it. Ask questions. Talk about your concerns. Be sure you understand the following information:

➤ What medicines you should take, especially:

• What each is called
• Why you need it
• How much to take
• When to take it
• How to use the inhaler or nebulizer device
• How soon to expect results
• Potential side effects

➤ What allergens and irritants set off your asthma symptoms and how to reduce or eliminate contact with them; how to handle colds and exercise

➤ How to monitor your asthma by tracking symptoms or peak flow readings

➤ How to recognize and handle worsening asthma, including:

➤ What signs to watch for

• How to adjust medicines in response
• When to seek emergency care from your doctor or the emergency room (ER)
• What numbers to call in an emergency

Resources from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH
Asthma Action Plan:
English Version
Asthma Action Plan:
Spanish Version

Asthma Related Articles from Our Website

Asthma Storylines – A Self-Care Tool for Managing Asthma

Asthma Storylines from the Allergy & Asthma Network, powered by Health Storylines™, is a self-care tool for managing asthma for yourself or your loved one. It gives you an accurate, shareable record of the asthma experience between physician visits, and helps you...

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Desktop computer, table, and smart phone mocks up showing the Learning Pathways intro page on the screen.

Quick 3-5 minute videos on asthma, allergies, and related conditions.

How do I monitor my daily asthma symptoms?

National asthma guidelines suggest using a daily symptom diary. This could be Allergy & Asthma Network’s AsthmaTracker™. It helps you keep track of symptoms, peak expiratory flow rates, and medications used.

What is an AsthmaTracker?

The AsthmaTracker™ can help you track how well your symptoms respond to your treatment plan. You write down your symptoms, peak expiratory flow rate and medication use each day. This will help you notice a pattern to your symptoms. With this you can develop strategies to stop the symptoms before they can stop you.

What is a peak flow meter?

A peak flow meter is a handheld device that measures the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). This is how much air you can forcibly push out of your lungs at a particular time.

Asthma Storylines – an app for managing asthma

The free Asthma Storylines app is a self-care tool for managing asthma. Track symptoms, learn more about daily patterns and record topics to discuss with your healthcare team. 

Doctor with clipboard in one hand, and a mobile phone in the other, holds up the Asthma Storyline app on his phone to present the app.

Are there other conditions that may look like asthma or complicate asthma?

There are other types of respiratory conditions that are different than asthma.  The symptoms, diagnosis and treatment can vary depending upon the condition. Here are some of them.