It can start with a chronic cough, wheezing, tightness in the chest or shortness of breath. It can be triggered by allergies, respiratory infections, exercise, or chemical sensitivities.
Asthma, a chronic inflammatory lung condition, is different for everyone. That's why a customized "asthma management plan" written by your doctor can be helpful.
The Asthma Management Plan used by FAFP features a green-yellow-red system to remind you when to take different medicine, contact the doctor or call 911.
If your child has asthma, the school nurse should have a copy of the action plan.
Each of our providers tries to give an action plan to every asthma patient. The goal is to help you know what to do next should your symptoms escalate. Most people who pay attention to symptoms and triggers, take their medicine and treat asthma seriously can manage well. However, untreated asthma can reduce lung function and in rare cases, could be lethal.
Allergy shots are often used as a treatment tool. Three to five years of shots is often enough to build up a permanent tolerance to allergens.
When you need more help with asthma
People who think they might have asthma can start by seeing a primary care doctor. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist if needed. Patients who are already being treated should see the doctor if they:
have had an asthma-related emergency room visit or hospital stay
wake up at night more than twice a month because of asthma
need a rescue inhaler more than twice a week.
Need help using your inhaler?Find helpful instructions and video demos here.