Partners for the long haul

A key ingredient for an effective asthma treatment plan is a solid partnership between you and your health care team. Teaming up with an asthma educator, doctor, nurse, or pharmacist is the best way to come up with a treatment plan that works for the variable nature of the condition. In addition to the first version of the treatment plan, adjustments will be needed to make sure that your treatment plan is still useful.

People who experience the following may need to go back to their doctor for further reassessment of their condition and possibly changes in their treatment plan:

  • a wheezing attack or recurrent attacks of wheezing
  • a troublesome cough at night or after exercise
  • wheezing, chest tightness, or cough after exposure to airborne allergens or pollutants
  • colds that "go into the chest" or take more than 10 days to clear up
  • any other features that indicate worsened asthma control (e.g., asthma symptoms during the day, symptoms or awakenings at night, limitations in activities, worsening lung function or peak expiratory flows, increased need for reliever/rescue medications, and any asthma attacks)

You can also ask your health care team about how to make small changes to your asthma action plan that would help make it easier to stick with your medications. First of all, you have to know what you are supposed to be taking before you can take them properly! Double-check with your health care team, especially if recent changes have been made. Remember to write these changes (along with the date) on your written asthma action plan so that you don't forget them. Also, you can ask about simplifying your treatments (e.g., taking them all at a specific time, or taking a combination product instead of multiple inhalers).

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