Control of symptoms
Once a diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of asthma is made, the priorities of management are to control symptoms.
Complete control of symptoms means:
- no daytime symptoms
- no night-time waking due to asthma
- no need for reliever inhaler (usually blue)
- no asthma attacks or admissions to hospital
- no limitation of exercise and activities at home or school
- minimal side-effects from medications
Asthma management focuses on a step-wise approach to control symptoms quickly, then gradually wean medications with support of your asthma healthcare professionals.
Asthma Action Plan
A personalised Asthma Action Plan will be created for you, which is crucial to controlling your symptoms. Early treatment and good compliance to treatment plans can help avoid asthma attacks and avoid more intensive care with higher dose medications in hospitals.
If you are concerned about your asthma control or don't have an Asthma Action plan, please make an urgent appointment with your GP.
Click here for more info on Asthma Action Plans
Asthma Control Test
An Asthma Control Test (ACT) is a validated questionnaire that we may use in clinic when we see you. You can also use it to monitor your symptoms, and its is especially helpful to think through it prior to your appointments.
The ACT asks you a series of questions help understand how well your asthma control is.
- Score 20 or more - indicates your control is on target
- Score 19 or less - indicates your control is poor and you should make an appointment with your doctor or asthma nurse to review this.
Use this online questionnaire from GlaxoSmithKline by clicking here. You can also print your results and bring them to your appointment to discuss in more detail.
Symptom and Peak FLow Diary
A symptom diary can be invaluable in identifying patterns to understand your asthma better. It also helps your doctor or nurse understand how your asthma affects you on a day to day basis. If you have been given a peak flow diary, it will help you monitor your daily symptoms in relation to your peak flow, and tell you how well your medications are working, or if your asthma is getting worse.
Track symptoms that you or your child experience, including:
- time - i.e. day or night
- what symptoms were experienced - e.g. cough, wheeze, breathless, tight chest
- what you think the triggers were - e.g. dust, pollen, animal, food, etc
- what you did to relieve it - i.e. did you need to rest, or use your reliever inhaler (usually blue).
- peak flow score - visit our How to Measure Your Peak Flow guide by clicking here, for more info on Peak flow and where you can also download and print yourself a peak flow diary.