Asthma

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Basics

Asthma is a lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways (tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs). Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often begins in childhood. 

The main symptoms of asthma are:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Tight chest
  • Shortness of breath

Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be treated. It is very important to follow your doctor's advice, including taking all medications as directed.

Living with Asthma

If you have asthma, it's in your lungs all the time, even if you don't feel it. That's why it's so important to understand your asthma and take care of yourself. 

One of the best things you can do to manage your asthma is work with your doctor to make an Asthma Action Plan

asthmaactionplan asthma action plan spanish

Other things you can do to manage your asthma are:

  • Identify your triggers (dust, mold, pet dander, smoke)
  • Take your medications correctly 
  • Remove triggers from your household 
  • Schedule asthma check-ups with your doctor

Watch a short video to learn about how to live well with asthma

asthmavideo

Medication

There are two types of asthma medicines

  • Daily Preventive Medicine (also called controller medicine): Controller medicines are usually taken daily. They make the chance of having an asthma attack much less likely. 
  • Quick-relief medicines (also called rescue medicine) are used for rapid, short-term relief during an asthma attack. Quick-relief medicines can ease an asthma attack right away. 

If you take your controller medicines every day, you shouldn’t need to use your quick-relief inhaler as often. It is important to use all your medicines just as your doctor instructed you to.


Triggers

Pay attention to things that seem to make your asthma worse. They are called triggers. Notice what your triggers are and try to avoid them.  

Some common triggers include:

  • Smoke
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Strong odors
  • Vacuum cleaning
  • Pets
  • Pollen
  • Exercise
  • Stress
  • Cold/flu

Talk with your doctor about ways to minimize your triggers.

Handouts

Asthma Action Plan
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Spanish

What is Asthma
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Spanish

Asthma Triggers
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Spanish

Medicines for Asthma
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Spanish

How to Use an Inhaler
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Spanish

Using a Spacer with your Inhaler
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Spanish

How to Use a Peak Flow Meter
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Spanish

Peak Flow Tracking Sheet
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Spanish

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