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If you have asthma it can be daunting trying to work out which medicines to take, as well as when and how to take them. Having an action plan can help you stay on top of your symptoms so you can avoid a potentially dangerous asthma attack.
Sometimes those with asthma find themselves in a situation where they get caught without their inhaler or nebulizer, leaving them at risk of an asthma attack. A personalized plan can make managing your medications easy, so the daily routine becomes as automatic as brushing your teeth or combing your hair.
An asthma action plan will provide you with a step-by-step guide to follow in taking care of your asthma. It will usually be written with your GP or nurse, following discussion of your personal health requirements, with the aim of ensuring you stay well in the long term. The plan is designed to remind you of which treatments to take and when, and may also provide a list of triggers to avoid.
The action plan can help you remember when your next check-up is due, keep a note of your nurse or GP’s contact number and also enable your friends and family understand what needs to be done if you have an asthma attack.
By having a plan, patients can keep track of their medications and it can also be reviewed regularly with an asthma nurse, GP or a consultant to determine if it’s working. The action plan can be kept safely at home and referred to by friends and family should they need to check what your routine looks like.
Any changes can be reported on the action plan and outlined in full at your next appointment. It is at these appointments that your GP or asthma nurse can update your plan and asthma medication routine if necessary. Your records will determine how well you are doing with your health plan and the nurses will then be able to amend it accordingly.
If you want to make a plan, you can print one off and use that as a guide. You may find a management pack with a diary, medicine cards and a guide to your asthma useful as well.
The asthma action plan is ultimately designed to keep you out of hospital and on top of your condition, so that it doesn’t interfere with your day to day life any more than necessary.
Having a plan helps you take control of your health, making it easy to track progress, improvements or deterioration with the supervision of a GP or nurse. If you’re looking for more information on starting an asthma action plan or require more help with your condition, Asthma UK have plenty of resources to get started.