How you can take better control of your asthma

Posted: April 24, 2024 | Word Count: 577

Did you know 1 in 13 people in the U.S. live with asthma? If you or a family member have asthma, you already know how it affects your daily life. You may have coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. There may be times when your symptoms suddenly get worse, causing an asthma attack.

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that can keep you from doing the things you love. It may even be life-threatening. But in most cases, asthma can be controlled.

What is asthma control?

If your asthma is under control, that means you have minimal asthma symptoms, with no limits to your daily activity. You should be able to do anything that someone without asthma can do, like sleeping through the night, going hiking or playing soccer. Good asthma control requires treatment of your symptoms so you can live a normal, active life.

Your asthma specialist (a doctor who may be an allergist or pulmonologist) can help you create an Asthma Action Plan. This plan will offer guidance on how to watch for symptoms and when to use asthma medication.

Steps to help control your asthma

Take your asthma medications as prescribed.

  • Use a quick-relief inhaler to treat sudden symptoms and open the airways.
  • Use a daily controller medication to prevent inflammation.

Avoid triggers that cause symptoms.

  • Stay indoors when pollen counts are high or air quality is poor.
  • Clean up mold in your house.
  • Avoid being around cigarettes.
  • Use dust mite-proof mattress covers and pillow cases.
  • Keep furry pets out of your bedroom.

Get regular check-ups with your doctor.

  • This can mean seeing a specialist, like an allergist or pulmonologist.

When to talk with your asthma specialist

When you have frequent asthma symptoms, or you're using your quick-relief inhaler or oral corticosteroids too often, your asthma is not under good control. You can use the "Rules of Two" to help you know when your asthma is not under control.

Signs of uncontrolled asthma include:

  • Experiencing asthma symptoms 2 days per week
  • Waking at night due to asthma 2 (or more) times per month
  • Refilling your quick-relief inhaler prescription or taking oral corticosteroids 2 or more times per year
  • Measure changes in your peak flow with asthma symptoms more than 2 times 10 (20%)

If you answered "yes" to any of the Rules of Two, or if you've been to the emergency room or hospitalized due to asthma, it's important to see your doctor.

Challenges of eosinophilic asthma

Some types of asthma are very hard to control. Eosinophilic asthma with Type 2 inflammation is a severe form of asthma. It may require special medications called biologics, and you may need to see an asthma specialist.

Learn more about these medications at

Take an active role

To better control your asthma, you can take a more active role in your own treatment. For example, when your doctor prescribes medication, ask how it works and how to use it. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't stop or cut back on medications just because you're feeling better for now, or if you're worried about side effects.

It can also be useful to have someone in your corner, to give you advice and guidance. One-on-one asthma coaching can help you learn effective ways to manage your condition. It can also help you easily track your symptoms and progress.

Learn more about how asthma and how to manage it at See if you're eligible for free asthma coaching at

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