Developing an asthma management (action) plan with your doctor is important and should include a talk about your own circumstances including you asthma patterns and triggers, and current management.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a medical condition that affects the airways (the breathing tubes that carry air into our lungs). From time to time, people with asthma find it harder to breathe in and out, because the airways in their lungs become narrower – like trying to breathe through a thin straw.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease. There is no cure for asthma, but it can usually be well controlled. Most people with asthma can stay active and have a healthy life.
In clinical practice, asthma is defined by the presence of both of the following:
- Excessive variation in lung function (‘variable airflow limitation’, i.e. variations in expiratory airflow that is greater than that seen in healthy people)
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. wheeze, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness) that vary over time and may be present or absent at any point in time.
Diagnosis relies on a combination of factors, including:
- Previous history of a recurrent or persistent wheeze
- Family history of asthma or allergies
- Absence of physical findings that suggest an alternative diagnosis
- Variable airflow limitation with testing
- A consistent clinical response to an inhaled bronchodilator or preventer
Asthma symptoms can be triggered by different things for different people. Common triggers include exercise, cigarette smoke, colds and flu, and allergens in the air (e.g. grass pollen).
For adults post asthma diagnosis, the next step is to work with your GP to develop a management (action) plan. This will include choosing a treatment that is appropriate to your asthma symptoms, lifestyle, risk factors and the treatment preferences.
Further, our GP will provide all the required information on asthma as well as providing all the tools for self-management, including the correct inhaler techniques.
At certain times you may experience a flare-up of your asthma. In this instance, contact your GP who will review your management plan. Your GP will prescribe asthma treatment aligned to symptoms.
For more information on asthma management plans for adults, please contact us.
Our doctors work with patients and their families to develop long term treatment plans after diagnosis.
In short, management plans are designed to ensure the child can maintain a normal quality of life, depending on the severity and pattern of asthma.
In addition, for children already taking regular preventative treatment, adjustments to the treatment regimen may be necessary. Adjustments are based on finding the lowest dose of medicines that will maintain good control of symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
Your GP is always on hand to provide guidance and clinical care for any asthma management concerns.