If you truly want to be empowered to have control over your asthma
(or any other disease for that matter) you have to ask all of the right
questions. Ask these below and start your journey toward REAL asthma
1. Does your asthma interfere with your lifestyle?
asthma is well controlled, you should be able to life a normal
lifestyle. This means that you can participate in activities that most
people perform. You don’t have to be tied down to frequent visits to
the emergency room or be limited from any activity.
2. Can you exercise?
well controlled asthmatic can engage in exercise to any level. With
appropriate treatment, your frequency, intensity and duration of
exercise need not be limited. In fact over 15% of Olympic level
athletes have asthma. Famous athletes with asthma include Jackie
Joyner-Kersee, Greg Louganis, Dennis Rodman, and Isaiah Thomas.
3. How often do you wake up at night?
well controlled asthmatic should wake up at night with asthma symptoms
less than twice per month. If you have a lot of night time asthma
problems, you should also look in to other causes of nocturnal asthma
such as gastroesophageal reflux.
4. How often do you use your quick relief medicine?
you are using your quick relief inhaler more than twice per week, your
asthma is NOT well controlled. Your quick relief inhaler should last
approximately six months.
5. What does your lung function test show?
of the defining characteristics of asthma is that it is (at least
partially) reversible. This means that when you are doing well, your
lung functions should be at 80% or better.
6. Are you satisfied with your degree of asthma control?
the second biggest problem I see in my patients is that they are
willing to accept less than ideal asthma control. Look at questions 1-5 and then answer question number six.
What other questions should I ask?
if lowered expectations are the second biggest problem, the worst
problem I see with patients is that they don’t have sufficient
information about their asthma. So ask yourself these additional
1. Do I have asthma? Or is it COPD, Emphysema,
chronic bronchitis or any of the other lung diseases that can mimic or
overlap with asthma?
2. What TYPE of asthma do I have? Do I have
extrinsic (allergic) or intrinsic asthma? Do I have exercise induced
3. With my degree of asthma control, what are my risks for a bad outcome?
4. How do my medications work and what is the best way to take them?
5. What kind of testing do I need?