While asthma can be predictable, the disease also has a way of catching you off guard and, worse, unprepared. More than 20 million adults and 6 million kids in the United States have asthma, and each of these sufferers can benefit from an asthma action plan that helps keep them one step ahead of the disease.
At Michael Bazel, M.D., Dr. Bazel and our team specialize in asthma, and we understand the importance of having a solid management and action plan in place.
Here, we explore what we mean by an asthma action plan, the importance of such a plan, and how we can develop yours.
What is an asthma action plan?
An asthma action plan plays several roles in helping you better manage your asthma. For example, a typical asthma action plan includes the following information:
- A list of the medications you’re taking
- Your triggers
- Peak flow measurement guidelines
- A list of symptoms that warrant action
- Instructions for managing your asthma at different times
- Important telephone numbers
You can use an asthma action plan as a daily reminder, a guideline for activity, and a plan of action should your asthma worsen.
Let’s say you wake up and you’re feeling fine, so you take your normal preventive medicines. After a walk outside, however, you start to wheeze or cough. You can quickly consult your asthma action plan to determine what steps you should take to clear your airways.
Why an asthma action plan is important
You’ve had your asthma for quite some time now, and you know the drill, right? Not so fast. Even if you have everything committed to memory, when you start to feel symptoms, or worse, you’re struggling to breathe, your mind can go blank.
With an asthma action plan, you can quickly review the checklist of symptoms, compare your peak flow measurements, and figure out the right dosing of your medications. More importantly, this plan tells you when you should seek help for your asthma through our urgent care or at a neighboring ER.
Developing your asthma action plan
The best way to develop an asthma action plan is to sit down with us so we can fill out your plan and discuss any concerns or questions you may have. To give you an idea, here’s a template of a commonly used asthma action plan.
We print this out and fill it in together, going over each section thoroughly, so you understand the plan fully.
We also suggest that, once we complete your plan, you make several copies to keep wherever you might need them, such as in your house, in your car, at work, etc. We’ll also keep a copy on file at our office.
If you’d like to get your asthma action plan in place, call one of our conveniently located offices in the greater Los Angeles area in Panorama City, Bell, and Valley Village, California, to schedule an appointment. Or, you can also request an appointment online.