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People who do not seek medical care or do not follow an appropriate treatment plan are likely to experience worsening of their asthma and deterioration in their ability to function normally.
Most people with asthma are able to control their condition if they work together with a health-care provider and follow their treatment regimen carefully.
Since asthma is a chronic disease, treatment goes on for a very long time. Some people have to stay on treatment for the rest of their lives. The best way to improve your condition and live your life on your terms is to learn all you can about your asthma and what you can do to make it better.
- Become a partner with your health-care provider and his or her support staff. Use the resources they can offer -- information, education, and expertise -- to help yourself.
- Become aware of your asthma triggers and do what you can to avoid them.
- Follow the treatment recommendations of your health-care provider. Understand your treatment. Know what each drug does and how it is used.
- See your health-care provider as scheduled.
- Report any changes or worsening of your symptoms promptly.
- Report any side effects you are having with your medications.
These are the goals of treatment:
- prevent ongoing and bothersome symptoms;
- prevent asthma attacks;
- prevent attacks severe enough to require a visit to your provider or an emergency department or hospitalization;
- carry on with normal activities;
- maintain normal or near-normal lung function; and
- have as few side effects of medication as possible.
For more information, read our full medical article on asthma.
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Fanta, C. "Asthma." NEJM 360 (2009): 1002-1014.