The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease and prevent attacks. Asthma has to be cared for all the time, not just when symptoms are present. Specific treatments for asthma will be determined by your child's provider based on his or her age, overall health, medical history, extent of the disease, expectations for the course of the disease, and family opinion and preference.
There are four parts to managing asthma:
- Identify and minimize contact with asthma triggers
- Understand and take medications as prescribed
- Monitor asthma to recognize signs when it is getting worse
- Know what to do when asthma gets worse
There are also four components of asthma treatment:
- The use of objective measures of lung function - spirometry, peak flow expiratory rate, and pulse oximetry - to diagnose the severity of asthma and to monitor the course of treatment.
- The use of medication therapy designed to reverse and prevent the airway swelling component of asthma as well as to treat the narrowing airway.
- The use of environmental control measures to avoid or eliminate factors that cause or trigger asthma flare-ups.
- Patient education that includes a partnership among the child, family members, and health care providers.
Good asthma control will:
- Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath
- Reduce your need for quick-relief medicines
- Help you maintain good lung function
- Let you maintain your normal activity levels and sleep through the night
- Prevent asthma attacks that could result in your going to the emergency room or being admitted to the hospital for treatment
Specific treatments for asthma will be determined by your child's physician based on:
- Your child's age, overall health and medical history
- Extent of the disease
- Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
As of yet, there is no cure for asthma. However, asthma can be controlled with prescription medications that may help to prevent or relieve symptoms, and by learning ways to manage episodes.
Download the asthma care plan (PDF).