Approximately 230 million people are suffering from asthma worldwide. Asthma is also the most common chronic health condition among children. It is therefore important to create awareness about this condition.
Through several events, carried out on every 1st Tuesday of May, since 1998, there has been great progress in raising awareness about asthma and the risk factors associated with it and in offering support for those living with asthma.
Asthma Action Plan
The World Asthma Day is marked on the first Tuesday of every May and which for this year puts it on the 7th of May 2019. This year, we at International Medical Treatment Ltd (IMT) focus on providing you with information about the asthma action plans which should be a very important part of life for people living with asthma and their caregivers.
Asthma is a condition that is characterised by the narrowing and swelling of the airways due to the production of excess mucus which makes breathing difficult. For more information on Asthma, what causes it, its symptoms and how it is diagnosed and treated, click here.
Part of the treatment of asthma involves managing the condition which is what an action plan is created to do. An asthma action plan (management plan) is basically a written plan that is created to help an asthma patient to help control their asthma. It indicates things that need to be known to make it possible to look after the individual living with asthma based on their asthma history. The plan is aimed at reducing the number of flare-ups and emergency hospital visits.
What does the asthma action plan contain?
It is important to know that asthma action plans will differ simply because different people have different symptoms. However, the action plans, even though different, will all contain the following information:
- What medicines to take and when to take them
- A list of possible triggers
- Early symptoms of flare-ups and what to do when they occur
- How to manage a full-blown flare-up
- When to seek emergency medical care
How the action plan works
An asthma action plan is meant to help people with asthma and/or their caregivers to take early action to reduce or prevent the severity of an asthma attack. It uses symptoms and/or peak flow readings to indicate what zone an asthma patient is in.
The different zones are explained as follows:
The green zone (also known as the safety zone) is when the asthma is controlled, and the plan explains how take care of a person with asthma when they are not feeling well.
The yellow zone (also referred to as the caution zone) means the asthma is not completely controlled. In this zone, some symptoms occur, and the plan provides information about which medicines can help a person with asthma to bring it under control.
The red zone (also known as the danger zone) it is when the asthma flare-ups become severe. Some signs of the red zone are:
- Excessive wheezing
- Excessive coughing,
- Anxiety or fear, and
- Extreme tightness of the chest
The action plan should also contain the name and phone number of the patient’s doctor, and to help in case of severe symptoms, it should contain local emergency and ambulance service phone numbers.
If your child has asthma, ensure the child always has a copy of the plan with them. Having a photo of your asthma action plan can be another way to remind you of what to look out for.
Ensure you take a look at the plan at least once a month as that will help you know what to do if the symptoms get worse and take the plan with you whenever you go to see your general doctor or asthma doctor.