Asthma is a chronic lung disease where the airways are inflamed. For many people, asthma can be controlled with medicines and avoiding triggers.
But severe asthma is not that simple.
If you have severe asthma, you may face different challenges when trying to control the condition than people with mild and moderate asthma.
What Is Severe Asthma?
About 5 to 10% of people with asthma don't respond to standard treatment. They may continue to have symptoms during the day and wake up at night due to their asthma. This is called severe persistent asthma.
When making a diagnosis, your doctor will consider several factors when trying to determine if you have severe asthma. If you think you have severe asthma, work with your doctor to get the right diagnosis.
Severe asthma may limit your ability to do daily activities. Severe uncontrolled asthma can be debilitating. But most of the time, asthma symptoms get better with the right treatment. If you have severe asthma, you and your doctor will work together to find the right asthma management plan to help you control your asthma.
How Do I Know If My Asthma Is Under Control?
For anyone with asthma, especially severe asthma, getting it under control is the primary goal. Asthma control is important for:
- Physical, mental and financial well-being
- Current and future health
- Prevention of permanent lung damage
- Better quality of life
So how do you know if your asthma is under control? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have asthma symptoms more than two times a week?
- Do you wake up at night with asthma symptoms more than two times a month?
- Are you not able to do all your usual activities?
- Do you need your quick-relief inhaler for symptoms more than two times a week?
- Do you need to take oral corticosteroids more than one time a year?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, your asthma may not be under control. Talk to your doctor about creating a new plan to control your asthma.
How Do I Learn More About Managing Severe Asthma?
If you want to learn more about severe asthma, take our FREE self-paced online course, Severe ASTHMA Care for Adults. This course covers:
- Types of severe asthma
- Severe asthma medicines and treatments
- Reducing the use of oral corticosteroids
- Controlling triggers
- Importance of control
- Partnering with your doctor
- Managing financial, emotional and social impacts