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Management of asthma

There are national and international guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma setting out investigations and treatment including aims and specific medications - British Thoracic Society. In addition there are excellent asthma charities that act as a patient resource with websites and asthma helplines such as Asthma UK.

Important aims of asthma management are:

  • Freedom from daytime symptoms
  • Freedom from night time symptoms
  • Freedom from limitation of exercise, work or leisure activities by asthma
  • Freedom from asthma attacks
  • Normal lung function (blowing tests within 80% of the average for age, gender and height for non-asthmatics)
  • Minimal treatment and minmal treatment side effects

    It is not always possible to achieve all of these and often there is a balance to be struck between level of treatment and symptoms.

    An important principle of asthma management is that asthmatics understand their disease and assume an active part in and responsibility for day to day management and treatment of attacks. This implies understanding medication, triggers and when and how to seek help.

    To achieve these goals asthma guidelines recommend that each asthmatic has a tailored written asthma management plan specially designed for them.