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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 once a week.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your lips or fingernails turn gray or blue.
  • You have severe symptoms.
  • Your peak flow numbers are in the red zone of your asthma action plan.
  • The skin around your neck and ribs pulls in with each breath.

Contact your asthma specialist if:

  • You continue to have symptoms even after you take medicine.
  • 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.

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 healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.