Over the past few decades, people with asthma have benefited from a number of scientific advances (including effective medications), with the overall goal of having the best control possible. The term "asthma control" refers to how well your symptoms are controlled, and it involves both the severity of your asthma as well as your response to treatment.
There are three levels of asthma control:
- controlled (all of the following)
- partly controlled (any of the following present in any week)
Levels of asthma control
|Asthma indicators||Controlled||Partly controlled||Uncontrolled|
|Asthma symptoms during the day||Two or fewer times per week||More than two times per week||Three or more features of partly controlled asthma present in any week|
|Activities limited by symptoms||None||Any||Three or more features of partly controlled asthma present in any week|
|Asthma symptoms during the night or awakening at night because of asthma||None||Any||Three or more features of partly controlled asthma present in any week|
|Peak expiratory flow (lung function)||Normal||Less than 80% of predicted or personal best (if known)||Three or more features of partly controlled asthma present in any week|
|Need for reliever/ rescue treatment||Two or fewer times per week||More than two times per week||Three or more features of partly controlled asthma present in any week|
|Asthma attacks||None||One or more per year||One in any week|
Recent research has shown that asthma control has not improved in Canada over the years. In fact, many people with asthma are unaware that they may not have the best control over their condition. In one Canadian study, 97% of people believed that their asthma was controlled, but, in reality, only 47% actually had control (as assessed by their health care team, according to specific criteria). When asked about what they would do when experiencing an attack (exacerbation), only 11% of people had a written asthma action plan, and even fewer (about half of those who had a plan) actually used these plans.
It is important to understand whether your asthma is controlled, and then have a specific goal of having the best control possible. Challenge yourself to reach your goal, and check your treatment plan frequently to make sure that it is still working well for you. There are a number of things that you can do:
- Educate yourself and do some planning. Learn about self-management education basics and work with your doctor to create an asthma action plan that is specific to your needs.
- Be adherent. Take your medications exactly as prescribed or intended.
- Work with your health care team. Partner with your educator, doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to best manage your condition and adjust your plan as needed.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Sticking-to-Your-Asthma-Treatment-Plan