You or your child were diagnosed with asthma – now what? You might be wondering what steps you can take to live with asthma and lead a healthy life. Follow these 6 steps from the American Lung Association to take control of your asthma:

1. Make your medical visits more productive

Get the most out of your appointment by knowing what to expect and what to ask. You can also ask your doctor about asthma self-management education programs.

2. Create an Asthma Action Plan

All people with asthma should have an Asthma Action Plan, also called an asthma management plan. This is a written document that you develop with your doctor to help control your asthma. The plan:

  • Shows daily treatment, such as what kind of medicines to take and when to take them;

  • Describes how to control asthma long-term;

  • Explains how to handle worsening asthma symptoms or asthma attacks; and
  • Explains when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room.

Make an Asthma Action Plan with your/your child’s doctor. Share this plan with coaches and school officials (if applicable).

Remember: Update your Asthma Action Plan at least once a year!

3. Assess and monitor your control

Are you in control of your asthma or your child’s asthma? Take the Asthma Control Test to find out. The Asthma Control Test is a five-question test that measures whether a person is in control of their asthma. It is available for children 4 to 11 years old, and for ages 12 through adult.

4. Understand your medication

Talk to your doctor about appropriate use of medication.

5. Reduce asthma triggers

It’s important to learn what triggers your/your child’s asthma attacks and avoid those triggers whenever possible.

6. Learn asthma self-management skills

Educate yourself with the American Lung Association’s Asthma Basics program (free online course) and complimentary resources.

Are you looking for information on how you can help a child manage their asthma? Check out these tips for parents & caregivers and teachers & coaches.