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 in 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: Your healthcare provider may want you to use peak flow monitoring, especially if you have 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, you first 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 a problem include:
- Daytime symptoms (cough, wheeze or chest tightness)
- Problems with activity level (working, exercising or playing)
- Nighttime symptoms