Asthma action plan: 3 important zones you should know

What is an asthma action plan?

An Asthma Action Plan is a personalised, written worksheet that gives you a step by step action to take in order to prevent your asthma from getting worse. It also gives you guidance on what to do if your asthma is getting worse, when to call your doctor or healthcare professional or when it is an emergency and have to go to the hospital immediately. Everyone who has asthma should have an asthma action plan.

It is a good idea to share your action plan with friends and loved ones and if you have a child with asthma, it is recommended that you share this asthma action plan with their caregivers and teachers in school.

It is important that you work with your doctor or health professional to create an asthma action plan that works for you. The goal of an asthma action plan is to empower you to take control in order to prevent and control your asthma attacks.

asthma action plan with doctor
Get your asthma action plan done with doctor or healthcare proffessional Credit: Andrey_Popov /shutterstock

What does an asthma action plan contain?

Personal details

An asthma personal plan should contain the following personal details.

  • Your Name
  • Your address
  • Your Doctor name
  • Your doctors address
  • Your doctors’ phone number
  • The name of your emergency contact
  • Your asthma triggers
  • When your next asthma review is
asthma action plan example
asthma action plan example
asthma action plan sample
asthma action plan sample

How to use my asthma action plan

  • I will keep it where I and my friends and family members can easily find it.
  • I will take a picture of it and save it on my phone so I can check it whenever I want.
  • I will read it through regularly and encourage my family and friends to read it.
  • I will take it to all healthcare review.
  • I will update it regularly with my doctor or healthcare provider.

The asthma action plan traffic system

The traffic system helps you keep track and know what to do with your asthma. The traffic system includes the three zones created by the National Institute of Health.

  • Green– Go zone-Use preventer inhaler
  • Yellow –Caution zone-Add reliever medicine
  • Red – Danger zone –Get help from your doctor

Green zone; My asthma is well managed if

  • I have not had any symptoms like
  • breathlessness,
  • cough,
  • wheeze
  • and chest tightness
  • or needed my reliever inhaler for at least 12 weeks.
  • I can ask my doctor to review my medicines to see if it will be appropriate to reduce the dose. My personal best peak flow is:

My everyday asthma care

  • I have to use my preventer inhaler even when I am not getting any asthma symptoms.
  • The name of my preventer inhaler is……………….
  • The colour of my preventer inhaler is………………….
  • The dose and frequency are………puff(s) in the morning and ………puff(s) in the evening.

If I experience:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness and
  • Breathlessness

Then I will use my reliever inhaler which I only use if I need to.

  • The name of my reliever inhaler is ……………
  • The colour of my reliever inhaler is ……………
  • The colour of my preventer inhaler is………………
  • The dose is puff(s)………………………………………………

Yellow zone: My asthma is getting worse

  • When my symptoms like breathlessness, cough, wheeze and chest tightness get worse.
  • When my symptoms stop me from performing my normal daily activities I wake up at night.
  • I use my reliever inhaler three or more times a week. My peak flow drops to below:

 Red zone: I am having an asthma attack

  • My reliever inhaler is not helping I need to use my reliever inhaler more than every four hours.
  • I find it hard to talk or walk.
  • I find it hard to breathe. My chest becomes very tight.
  • I am coughing a lot.
  • I am wheezing a lot. My peak flow is below:

This is an emergency and I need to act now.

Asthma action plan pdf

This is an example of an asthma action plan which you can downlaod and use.

asthma-action-plan-pdf

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About the author

Nwasom is a pharmacy graduate and a pharmacist currently practising in the United Kingdom. I have great experience communicating with patients and their family as gained through working as a pharmacist in both the hospital and community pharmacy sector. I love writing so it was a natural thing to try and pass medical and health information on through writing.