Create an Asthma Management Plan

Asthma Action PlanIf you have asthma, it is recommended that you have a plan developed between you and your healthcare provider that gives specific instructions for early treatment of asthma symptoms. An asthma action plan is a written, individualized worksheet that shows you the steps to take to prevent your asthma from getting worse. It also provides guidance on when to call your healthcare provider or when to go to the emergency room right away. Download our action plan below and take it to your next healthcare visit. Read on for more information about what is included in the plan.

The Asthma Action Plan is also available in a large-font format (Español). Use double-sided printing if available.

General Information

You asthma action plan should include:

  • Your name
  • Emergency contact information
  • Contact information for your healthcare provider
  • Your asthma severity classification
  • A list of triggers that may cause an asthma attack

Asthma Zones

An asthma action plan is divided into three zones (green, yellow and red). The green zone is where you want to be on a daily basis. In this zone, you have no asthma symptoms and you feel good. Continue to take your long-term control medicine(s) even if you’re feeling well. The yellow zone means that you are experiencing symptoms. This is where you should slow down and follow the steps including the use of your quick-relief medicine to keep your asthma from getting worse. And, the red zone means you are experiencing severe asthma symptoms or an asthma flare-up. Follow the steps of your asthma action plan and get immediate medical treatment if your symptoms do not improve.

You should work with your healthcare provider to determine your zones. Your asthma action plan can be based on peak flow rate or asthma symptoms.

  • Peak Flow Rate - Peak flow monitoring is recommended for people with moderate to severe asthma. Your peak flow rate can show if your asthma is getting worse, even before you feel symptoms. Your peak flow rate is measured with a peak flow meter. To use your peak flow rate to determine the zones on your asthma action plan, first, you will need to spend some time determining your personal best. Your personal best is the highest peak flow number you achieve in a two to three week period. Your healthcare provider will use your personal best peak flow rate to calculate the zones in your asthma action plan.
  • Symptoms- Another way to monitor your asthma control is to track your symptoms. Common asthma symptoms that indicate there is a problem include:
    • Daytime symptoms (cough, wheeze or chest tightness)
    • Problems with activity level (working, exercising or playing)
    • Nighttime symptoms

Medicines

Your asthma action plan will include your medicines and instructions for what to do when you are feeling well, what to do when you have asthma symptoms, and what to do when your asthma symptoms are getting worse. It should include the names of your medicines, how much to take and when to take it. The dose and frequency may change depending on your asthma zone.

What To Do in an Emergency

The Red Zone of your asthma action plan tells you the steps you need to take in an emergency situation. This portion of your plan should include: emergency telephone numbers for the doctor, emergency department, rapid transportation, and family/friends for support.

Long-term Control Medicines/Quick-Relief Medicines: What You Need To Know

  • Long-term control medicines (also called controller, maintenance, or anti-inflammatory medicines) help prevent asthma symptoms by controlling the swelling in your lungs and decreasing mucus production. These medicines work slowly but help control your asthma for hours. They must be taken regularly (even when you don’t have asthma symptoms) in order to work.
  • Quick-relief medicines (also called rescue medicines) relieve or stop asthma symptoms once they have started. They are inhaled and work quickly to relax the muscles that tighten around your airways. When the muscles relax, your airways open up and you breathe easier. Quick-relief medicines can be used before you exercise to avoid asthma symptoms.

Click here for more detailed information on Asthma Medication.