Even though there is no known cure for asthma, it can (and should!) be maintained. An asthma action plan provides a great way to monitor and maintain your asthma, increasing your control over flare-ups. Let’s take a closer look at what an asthma action plan is and how it can help you.
What Does an Asthma Action Plan Include?
First things first: what exactly is an asthma action plan? In a nutshell, it is a plan written by you and your doctor with the goal of reducing asthma attacks and flare-ups, as well as recognizing your own health patterns. Although your plan is not a cure for asthma, it is a helpful tool for tracking important information. When properly done, it can even reduce visits to the doctor.
Your asthma action plan should log specific data that will help you better understand your own condition and reactions. Generally speaking, a plan includes the following things.
Which medications to take and when to take them.
Whether you suffer from asthma personally or you are caring for someone else who does (such as your child), it is important that you know the proper response when an attack occurs. A good plan lists all the medications prescribed by your doctor, what they do, and when to take them. When the time comes for medication, you shouldn’t have any questions about how to respond.
A daily log of asthma triggers and symptoms.
Your asthma plan provides a place to log triggers such as mold, exercise, pet hair, smoke, pollen, cold air, panic, air quality, and more. This helps you and your doctor keep track of what is most likely to spur an asthma attack or flare-up.
Identification of similarities between attacks.
Not every asthma sufferer has the same experience. Asthma ranges from minor to severe and can be triggered by many different things. An asthma action plan helps you see correlations between your personal symptoms and triggers. In turn, this can help define the type of asthma you have and how severe it is. Knowledge like this is particularly helpful for your doctor, who can then make better-informed treatment decisions.
Why is it Important to Keep an Asthma Action Plan?
The benefits of maintaining an Asthma Action Plan are relatively self-evident, but it is still important to touch on them. A properly-kept action plan is important for the following reasons.
It helps keep your doctor informed.
Your doctor needs to know what’s going on, and an asthma action plan provides a simple way to keep track of information. This is especially helpful to maximize your limited time with the doctor or asthma specialist. When you log all of your symptoms, asthma attacks, and triggers, the doctor is able to quickly review your history and have a better idea of your asthma-related experiences since your last visit.
It prevents dangerous flare-ups.
Knowing what might trigger your asthma and how to treat potential attacks can eliminate dangerous flare-ups.
It logs information so you can better maintain your asthma.
Your best weapon against asthma is knowledge. Your plan is essentially keeping a journal of information that arms you against triggers. The more information that you are able to log into your asthma action plan, the easier it becomes for you, or your health care provider, to recognize patterns.
How Else Can You Manage Your Asthma?
While an asthma action plan is important, it’s not the only method out there of controlling your asthma. You should also do several other things.
Stay up-to-date at the doctor’s office.
You and your doctor are a team when it comes to fighting your asthma. Make sure you communicate regularly with them. Schedule visits to the office if necessary. Your doctor should never be out of the loop.
Invest in helpful asthma tools.
One helpful asthma tool is a portable spirometry exam. Portable spirometry allows you to take at-home lung tests that monitor your lung health. Testing your lung capacity helps you see whether your lungs are functioning normally.
With the Aluna device comes a doctor-approved health platform that enables you to keep track of your asthma action plan digitally. Conveniently record your FEV1%, asthma attacks, symptoms, triggers, doctor visits, exercise, and medication taken all within the app!