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Moderate and Severe Persistent Asthma
Moderate or severe persistent asthma
means you have asthma symptoms every day. You may also need to use your rescue inhaler daily to treat shortness of breath. Your normal activities are affected by wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness. You have frequent flare-ups when your symptoms become worse. Flare-ups at night can affect your sleep and happen at least 1 time each week.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You have severe shortness of breath.
- The skin around your neck and ribs pulls in with each breath.
- Your peak flow numbers are in the red zone of your AAP.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have shortness of breath, even after you take your short-term medicine as directed.
- Your lips or nails turn blue or gray.
Call your doctor or asthma specialist if:
- You run out of medicine before your next refill is due.
- Your symptoms get worse.
- You need to take more medicine than usual to control your symptoms.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Treatment for moderate or severe persistent asthma
includes medicines to decrease inflammation in your lungs. Medicines also open your airways and make it easier to breathe. The medicines may be inhaled, injected, or given as a pill. You may need medicine to relieve symptoms quickly and to prevent future attacks. Allergy shots may be given to help control allergies that trigger your asthma. Other medicines may be needed if your regular medicines are not able to prevent attacks.
Manage moderate or severe persistent asthma:
- Follow your asthma action plan. This is a written plan that you and your asthma specialist create. It explains which medicine you need and when to change doses if necessary. It also explains how you can monitor symptoms and use a peak flow meter. The meter measures how well air moves out of your lungs.
- Identify and avoid triggers. Keep your home free of pets, dust mites, cockroaches, and mold.
- Manage other health conditions such as allergies, sinus problems, sleep apnea, or acid reflux.
- Do not smoke, and avoid others who smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Ask your doctor for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your doctor before you use these products.
- Ask about the flu vaccine. The flu can make your asthma worse. You may need a yearly flu shot.
Follow up with your doctor or asthma specialist as directed:
You may need more tests to see how well your treatment is working. You may be asked to write down your peak flow values and bring them to your visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Learn more about Moderate and Severe Persistent Asthma (Ambulatory Care)
IBM Watson Micromedex
- Asthma in Children
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction
- Moderate and Severe Persistent Asthma
- Reactive Airways Disease
Medicine.com Guides (External)
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