Wake Up to Asthma Control

You brush your teeth first thing every day, then probably savor a piping hot cup of coffee. But do you also make your asthma control steps an essential part of your morning?

Starting a Morning Routine

Staying on top of your asthma takes hard work and diligence, but if you integrate your control steps into your day, it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Incorporate these three actions into your morning routine:

  1. Monitor your lung capacity.
  2. Recognize your symptoms.
  3. Take your control medication as necessary.

Following these steps every day will not only help you control your asthma, it will also highlight any changes in your breathing. That way, you can respond by following your doctor's directions and keep your symptoms from getting worse.

Monitor Your Lung Capacity

As soon as you wake up in the morning, reach for your peak flow monitor (a simple plastic device you breathe into that measures your lung capacity). Blow into it to make sure that your reading is in your normal zone, which indicates your asthma is well controlled. You can repeat this step two more times to check that your results are accurate. You'll need to write down the reading in a diary or chart so you can see if your numbers are beginning to decline over time, which is a sign of airway inflammation.

Pay Attention to Symptoms

Assess your symptoms every morning. If you find yourself coughing, wheezing, feeling short of breath, or having trouble participating in normal activities, your condition could be worsening. Refer to your asthma action plan and look for early warning signs and symptoms that can signify a problem. Then find out how best to respond.

Take Your Medication

Once you've checked your peak flow and your symptoms, you'll need to take your asthma control medication as your doctor directed. Remember that even when you're feeling fine, this step is essential. Most controller medications keep your airway inflammation controlled in order to keep symptoms at bay.

Respond to Changes as Needed

When you're following these steps as part of your morning routine and notice any changes in your peak flow or your symptoms, you'll probably need to use your fast-acting relief inhaler. If your peak flow reading is in your danger zone, you may also need to call your doctor. You should always refer to your asthma action plan for advice on how to treat any changes appropriately.




"Asthma and Teens." KidsHealth.org. From Nemours, Nov. 2009. Web. 10 Dec. 2010.

"How to Use Your Peak Flow Meter." Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia. US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health, 26 April 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2010.

"Make Peak Flow a Habit!" Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia. US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health, 26 April 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2010.