• Are you doing all that you can to manage your asthma? The best way to free yourself from asthma symptoms is to keep the inflammation in your airways under control. This prevents them from becoming hypersensitive and reactive to irritants in your environment. When asthma is well controlled, you can lead an active life with few symptoms and fewer days lost from work or school.

  • Asthma medications can fall into three general categories: relievers, controllers, and combination medications.

  • One of the ways you can control asthma symptoms and reduce your need for medication is to avoid exposure to common asthma triggers.

  • Fast-acting bronchodilators are reliever medications (also called rescue medications) used as needed to relieve acute asthma symptoms (asthma attacks) and to prevent asthma symptoms caused by exercise. They act quickly, but most act only for short periods of time. When your asthma gets worse, your doctor may recommend that you temporarily increase the amount of rescue medication you're taking.

  • Controller medications, also referred to as maintenance medications, are used on a regular basis to manage asthma and prevent symptoms.

  • To get the most out of your asthma medications, you must use them properly. But many asthma sufferers don't. Common problems include poor inhaler technique (not using inhaler devices properly), overusing reliever medications, and not using controller medications enough. Here's how to avoid asthma medication pitfalls: understand what your medication is for (controller or reliever), how to use it, when to use it, what side effects to expect, and how to deal with them.

  • Monitoring your asthma symptoms will help you keep your asthma under control. You and your doctor will develop an asthma action plan that gives you personalized instructions on how to monitor your asthma and what to do if it gets worse.

  • If your asthma is under control, you should not have to miss school or work because of it.


Additional Resources