But in the case of asthma control, if you don’t know certain basic facts, your perception of your health may be incorrect, and you could end up in the emergency room
Your Expectations and Goals for Controlled Asthma
So just what is controlled asthma and what goals and expectations should you set for yourself? If asthma is under control, you should be able to:
- Remain free of asthma symptoms both day and night. You should be able to sleep through the night without disturbances due to asthma symptoms.
- Maintain normal activity levels. Are you missing school or work due to asthma? Can you participate in sports activities and perform day-to-day tasks like climbing a flight of stairs without experiencing asthma symptoms? If not, you need to reevaluate your expectations.
- Control your asthma without going to the emergency room or hospital.Your asthma is definitely out of control if hospital visits are necessary at any time.
- Attain normal or near-normal lung function. You should be able to breathe like someone who doesn’t have asthma or other lung problems. You can make this judgement by using a peak flow meter. If you don’t have one, you should.
- Experience little or no side effects from asthma medicines. If the medicines you take for asthma make you feel bad, speak to your doctor
Great Expectations for Children and Adolescents
Your expectations for your child should be no less than the five listed above, in addition to the following:
- A child must avoid asthma triggers (such as allergens) and follow an exercise program so that he or she is not limited by recurrent asthma symptoms.
- Foster the emotional health of your child so he thinks of himself as a healthy person, not a sick one, and is confident of his or her ability to confront challenges and succeed.
Teach your child to recognize the subtle signs of asthma and to tell you when they occur. And help him use a peak flow meter and asthma diary to gather the information you need to identify when asthma is getting worse.
Expectations for the Elderly
The overriding goal for seniors with asthma is to maintain an independent and active lifestyle. However, keep in mind that because of the following, asthma control can be challenging:
- The effects of coexisting medical conditions can complicate a senior’s ability to recognize asthma symptoms.
- Lung function expectations for seniors typically need to be lowered since this function naturally decreases as a person ages.
- Age-related changes in the body may increase the risk of adverse side effects from medications.
- And because seniors may take a number of medications for various ailments, the chance for drug interactions increases.
The good news is that compliance with prescribed treatment plans is generally better with seniors than with younger asthma patients. Generally, if seniors are armed with a basic knowledge about asthma, along with clear instructions for correct medication use and peak flow monitoring, appropriate goals can be realized.
Set Realistic Goals Based on Reality
Don’t let false perceptions impair your ability to achieve asthma control. If you arm yourself with a basic knowledge about asthma, its subtle signs and symptoms, information about current treatments and medications, and an understanding of how to use objective measures of lung function like peak flow monitoring, you will have the tools needed to realize and establish a set of realistic goals.