The majority of problems associated with asthma, including hospitalization and death,
are preventable if asthma is managed according to established guidelines.
An asthma action plan
(also called a management plan) is a
written plan that you develop with your doctor to help control your asthma. The
asthma action plan shows your daily treatment, such as what kind of medicines to
take and when to take them. Your plan describes how to control asthma long term
and how to handle worsening asthma, or attacks. The plan explains when to call the
doctor or go to the emergency room. If you are the parent of a child with asthma,
give a copy of the asthma action plan to your child’s school, especially the
school nurse. Effective management includes controlling exposure to factors that
Important triggers include:
Two key air pollutants can affect asthma:
Ground-level ozone, which is found in smog.
- Second hand smoke
- Mold or mildew
- Pet dander
- Cockroaches and other pests
- Outdoor air pollution
- Strong smells or odors, including perfumes
Ground-level ozone is often worst on hot summer days, especially in the afternoons
and early evenings. Particle pollution can be bad any time of year, even in winter.
It can be especially bad when the weather is calm, allowing air pollution to build
Particle pollution, which is in haze, smoke and dust.
Particle levels can also be high near busy roads or highways, during rush hour,
around factories and when smoke is in the air from wood stoves, fireplaces or burning
People can take steps to help protect their health from air pollution.
- Know how sensitive they are to air pollution
Know when and where air pollution may be bad
- Plan activities when and where pollution levels are lower, using the Air Quality Index to guide planning
- Change their activity level
- Listen to their bodies
- Keep quick-relief medicine on hand when they're active outdoors
- Follow an asthma action plan with the help of their health care provider.