Controlling Your Asthma

You can do a lot to manage your asthma and improve your quality of life. You will need to work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan. But it’s up to you to put this plan into action.

Why you need to take control

You need to control the inflammation in your lungs. Take all medicine as directed, especially controller medicines, even if you feel that your asthma is under good control. You also need to relieve symptoms when you have them. These are long-term tasks. But the more you stay in control, the better you’ll feel. If you don’t stay in control:

  • Asthma symptoms may cause you to miss school, work, or activities that you enjoy.

  • Asthma flare-ups can be dangerous, even deadly.

  • Uncontrolled asthma makes it more likely that you will need emergency department and in-hospital care.

  • Uncontrolled asthma may cause permanent damage to your lungs.

Woman using peak flow meter.

Peak flow monitoring helps measure how open your airways are.

Man using metered-dose inhaler with spacer.

Taking medicine helps you control your asthma and relieve symptoms when they occur.

Red, yellow, and green traffic light.

Using an Asthma Action Plan will help you keep track of and respond to asthma symptoms.


Avoiding triggers—the things that inflame your airways—will help prevent symptoms and flare-ups.

Your action plan

Your healthcare provider will help you prepare, and when needed, update your personal Asthma Action Plan. Your plan tells you what to do based on your current symptoms. If you don't have an Asthma Action Plan, or if yours isn't up-to-date, make sure you talk with your healthcare provider.