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

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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

Asthma Related Articles from Our Website

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How do I monitor my daily asthma symptoms?

National asthma guidelines suggest using a daily symptom diary such as Allergy & Asthma Network’s AsthmaTracker™ to keep track of symptoms, peak expiratory flow rates (if you or your child use a peak flow meter) and medications used.

What is an AsthmaTracker?

The AsthmaTracker™ can help your track how well your symptoms respond to your treatment plan. By writing down your symptoms, peak expiratory flow rate and medication use each day, you’ll notice a pattern to your symptoms and 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), or 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.

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Image of doctor holding up phone towards camera. The phone has the Asthma Storyline app on it.

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.