Asthma control is the main goal of asthma treatment. Experts tell us that almost everyone should be able to achieve solid asthma control, with the right treatment. Today is World Asthma Day, as proclaimed by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), and their main message is that "You Can Control Your Asthma."
How do you know if your asthma is under control? Well, it's simple. You'll feel good. Here are the specifics:
- You can be physically active & lead a productive, healthy life. For adults, this means few, if any, missed work days. For kids, few or no missed school days and the ability to participate in regular kid-type play activities.
- You don't have asthma symptoms, at least not often. Symptoms aren't interfering in your day, and they're not waking you up at night.
- Asthma attacks are a rarity.
- Because symptoms and asthma attacks are rare, so is using your quick-relief, or rescue, inhaler.
- Peak expiratory flow readings are consistently in your "personal best" range.
- You're not having significant side effects from any of your asthma treatments.
So how do you achieve control? Again, it's not that hard, if you use this 4-step approach:
- Develop a solid partnership with your doctor, who is preferably an expert in asthma management.
- Identify your risk factors & reduce your exposure to them.
- Assess, treat, and monitor your asthma effectively.
- Manage asthma flares aggressively to limit their length and their effect on your lung function. A current Asthma Action Plan is crucial to this step.
Finally, GINA states that a "step-wise" approach to asthma treatment is the best approach. This means that when asthma is not under control, asthma medication is "stepped up", and when asthma IS under control, asthma medication is "stepped down" to the least dose that will still keep you under control.
So, the message here, this World Asthma Day 2008, is clear. If your asthma is not currently under control, it CAN and SHOULD be. So, I'm asking you again, what are you doing to achieve this for yourself?
Published On: May 06, 2008