Asthma symptoms are caused by a hyper reactive immune system; it is a long-term disease that has no cure. The cure of asthma treatment is to control the disease.
Good asthma control will:
- Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath
- Reduce your need for quick-relief medicines
- Help you maintain good lung function
- Let you maintain your normal activity level and sleep through the night
- Prevent asthma attacks that could result in an emergency room visit or hospital stay
To control asthma, partner with your doctor to manage your asthma. Children aged 10 or older—and younger children who are able—should take an active role in their asthma care.
Taking an active role to control your asthma involves:
- Working with your doctor to treat other conditions that can interfere with asthma management.
- Avoiding things that worsen your asthma (asthma triggers). However, one trigger you should not avoid is physical activity. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Talk with your doctor about medicines that can help you stay active.
- Working with your doctor and other health care providers to create and follow an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan gives guidance on taking your medicines properly, avoiding asthma triggers (except physical activity), tracking your level of asthma control, responding to worsening symptoms, and seeking emergency care when needed.
Asthma is treated with two types of medicines: long-term control and quick-relief medicines. Long-term control medicines help reduce airway inflammation and prevent asthma symptoms. Quick-relief, or "rescue," medicines relieve asthma symptoms that may flare up.
Your initial treatment will depend on the severity of your asthma. Follow up asthma treatment will depend on how well your asthma action plan is controlling your symptoms and preventing asthma attacks.
Your level of asthma control can vary over time and with changes in your home, school, or work environments. These changes can alter how often you're exposed to the factors that can worsen your asthma.
Your doctor may need to increase your medicine if your asthma doesn't stay under control. On the other hand, if your asthma is well controlled for several months, your doctor may decrease your medicine. These adjustments to your medicine will help you maintain the best control possible with the least amount of medicine necessary.
Follow an Asthma Action Plan
You can work with your doctor to create a personal asthma action plan. The plan will describe your daily treatments, such as which medicines to take and when to take them. The plan also will explain when to call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
Your doctor will consider many things when deciding which asthma medicines are best for you. He or she will check to see how well a medicine works for you. Then, he or she will adjust the dose or medicine as needed.
Asthma medicines can be taken in pill form, but most are taken using a device called an inhaler. An inhaler allows the medicine to go directly to your lungs.
Not all inhalers are used the same way. Ask your doctor or another health care provider to show you the right way to use your inhaler.