Asthma is a lifelong condition that affects your airways, making it hard to breathe. It causes the airways to swell, tighten up and produce too much mucus. Researchers believe a combination of genetic factors and environmental triggers cause it. However, the good news is you can control your asthma to live a long, full life.
Symptoms vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include:
Coughing, especially at night.
Shortness of breath.
Chest tightness, pain or pressure.
Your doctor will diagnose asthma and assess its progression by:
Conducting a thorough physical exam.
Asking questions about your medical history and specific symptoms.
Ordering a lung function test called a spirometry.
Your asthma is well-controlled if you:
Need your quick-relief inhaler less than three times per week.
Do not wake up with asthma during the night.
Do daily activities including exercise with few to no symptoms.
6 Steps You Can Take To Keep Your Asthma Under Control
Step 1: Make Your Medical Visit More Productive
Write down questions or concerns you have to help you ask your doctor the right questions.
Step 2: Create an Asthma Management Plan
Learn how to develop a plan with your doctor. It should include key information on managing your asthma.
Step 3: Assess and Monitor Your Control
Common asthma symptoms can include cough, tight feeling in your chest, wheezing, activity limitation and feeling tired. Keep track of your symptoms to help you stay in control.
Step 4: Understand Your Medication
Many medications treat asthma. Each person's asthma is different, and your doctor will work with you to set up a plan just for you.
Step 5: Reduce Asthma Triggers
Identify your asthma triggers and learn simple ways to limit your exposure or avoid them altogether.
Step 6: Learn Asthma Self-Management Skills
Learn more about asthma, including our asthma basics online course and asthma animation.
Health A To Z
Health A to Z providers you information and answers on many health topics. With this health tool you can:
- Check Symptoms.
- Use Interactive Tools.
- Explore the Learning Centers.
- Get Helpful Information on Health Topics.
These links lead to third-party websites. Those companies are solely responsible for the contents and privacy policies on their sites. The information contained in this brochure is for educational purposes only. It does not represent a standard of care. Your physician must determine the appropriateness of the information in light of all your circumstances. It is important to discuss options with your physician when deciding on the best treatment for you.