Asthma is a chronic condition that can present with difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing, waking up at night with difficulty breathing, and having difficulty breathing with exercise or exertion. The key to asthma management is controlling these symptoms either by reducing triggers of asthma or using medications.
Good control of asthma can be measured in a few different ways. A short cut to good control is what we refer to as "The Rule of Twos." This means using a rescue inhaler (albuterol or levalbuterol) less than 2x in a week, or waking up at night less than 2x in a month, or having a flare that required oral steroids (prednisone) less than 2x in a year. If a patient does not meet this criteria, then medications should be adjusted so that good control can be achieved. We can also use the Asthma Control Test (ACT) to measure control (Click here to take the ACT). This test is an assessment of how well asthma is controlled over the past 4 weeks. Both of these measurements helps the Allergist decide how well controlled the asthma is and if medications should be decreased, increased, or should stay the same.
Please reach out to your Allergist if you notice any worsening of your asthma. It is also important to follow up with your Allergist every 4 months to make sure that the asthma is controlled and to adjust medications.