6 Ways to Know That Your Asthma is Under Control

 

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6 Ways to Know That Your Asthma is Under Control

October 15, 2014

 

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 control.

 

1.  Does your asthma interfere with your lifestyle?

When 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?

A 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?

A 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?

If 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?

One 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?

Probably 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?

So 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 questions:

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 bronchospasm?

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?

 

 

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