Written Asthma Action Plans are the cornerstone to self-management of your (or your asthmatic child's) asthma at home. Written Asthma Action Plans provide you with guidelines to treat the Early Warning Signs of asthma before they become Late Emergency Signs of asthma (include link to Disease link). The sooner you can treat asthma symptoms the better. Most asthma attacks do not just happen. Your most essential role is to recognize the early warning signs when they occur and to take action! In doing this, you will most likely prevent your (or your child's) asthma flare-up from getting out of control or even possibly becoming life threatening. It is important to remember, that the Asthma Action Plan is not a substitute for routine follow up care by your (or your child's) doctor or for emergency care for a serious asthma attack. At any point when using your (or your child's) Asthma Action Plan, you feel that the plan is not working or you are concerned about the increasing symptoms or drop in peak flow readings or you are unsure about your ability to handle the asthma flare-up, seek medical treatment immediately!
Asthma Action Plans use your (or your child's) best peak flow reading and/or your (or your child's) asthma symptoms to set up your asthma zones. Asthma zones are the three divisions of the written Asthma Action Plan. Think of the asthma zones in relation to a traffic light-green, yellow, red. These asthma zones help you to know what needs to be done immediately to treat asthma symptoms or decreasing peak flow readings. They also help you communicate with your health care provider the intensity of your asthma flare-up. Written Asthma Action Plans need to be updated once a year and with each change in your asthma medication(s).