Asthma Control

What is Asthma? 

  • Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways in the lungs.
  • Chronic means that the inside of the airways are always a little swollen and sensitive.
  • Asthma symptoms happen when the inside of the airways become more sensitive, swollen and make extra mucous. Muscles around the outside of the airways tighten and cause more asthma symptoms.
  • Common things that trigger asthma include colds, tobacco smoke and allergies.
  • There is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled.

What are asthma symptoms? 

  • Cough 
  • Wheeze (whistling noise in the chest)
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Chest tightness
These symptoms may happen at rest or during activities.
Asthma may seem mild. Having any of these symptoms at night, during or after exercise, even once a week, is not normal and should be discussed with your doctor.

Why is asthma control important? 

Children with good asthma control:

  • can take part in normal childhood activities and participate better in school. 
  • have fewer and less severe asthma flare-ups.
  • have less severe asthma problems during colds or when exposed to other triggers such as pollens or smoke.  
  • have less anxiety about asthma.
  • feel more confident being as active as other children.
  • have less “scarring” in the lungs that occurs with poor asthma control.

Make your asthma control your goal!

  • Normal Activity
  • Normal Sleep
  • No daytime asthma symptoms
  • No need for Reliever medicine 
  • No emergency visits for asthma
  • No missed school or daycare for asthma
Needing Reliever medicine more than 3 times per week for asthma symptoms is a sign of poor asthma control and a risk for an asthma flare-up.

Asthma Action Plans

  • An Asthma Action Plan tells you what to do when asthma is under control and what to do when asthma problems start.
  • Every child with asthma should have a written Asthma Action Plan.
  • An Asthma Action Plan should be reviewed with your doctor or health care provider every six months.

Tips for achieving good control

  • Ask your doctor for an Asthma Action Plan.
  • Know what asthma medicines do. Learn how to use them properly.
  • Know the signs of worsening asthma.
  • Early Signs of worsening asthma:

    • Cold symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough)
    • Cough at night or early morning
    • Problems during or after exercise
    • Needing reliever medicine more than 3 times per week
    • Coughing or being short of breath during normal activity
  • Know your asthma triggers and stay away from them.
  • Follow up with a regular doctor at least twice a year even if the asthma is under control.
  • Check to see if asthma education is available in your area. An Asthma Educator can help you learn to keep your child's asthma under control.

Asthma Allie says:

"Good asthma control helps your child now and in the future!"


The Children's Allergy & Asthma Education Centre ©2011, 2014