To begin with, asthma is a reversible obstructive chronic disease of the lungs which narrows the airways because of increased reaction of the airways due to various stimuli and makes it difficult for asthmatic to breathe sometimes. This disease is not passed on from one person to another but it is caused due to genetic factors. It is estimated that 7.1 million children have asthma under the age of 18 from which approximately 4.1 million children has gone through an asthma attack.
Asthma action plan is a set of instructions prepared beforehand which actually attributes on how to respond to an asthma attack or when asthma triggers and care for the inflammation of your lungs to cut down its long-term effects of asthma. Asthma action plan assists parents to deal with their children’s asthma symptoms. Above all, the plan actually provides us with three important answers:
1. What initial steps to take every single day to deal with asthma symptoms
2. when and which medicines to take regularly
3. when you should call your health care provider
Besides, it helps the asthmatic to recognize if their symptoms are getting worsens primitively.
Moreover, there are additional things included in the asthma action plan which is:
• How to measure your peak expiratory flow (PEF).
• A treatment plan which reflects how you personally achieve your goal to avert asthma symptoms.
• An asthma diary- in the diary, the PEF measurements are recorded as well as the factors are precisely mentioned which triggers asthma symptoms.
When you pay a visit to your doctor remember to take time and describe the followings:
• Your symptoms
• Your triggers
• What are the quick-relief medicines you need to take
• How to take them quick-relief medicines.
• How will you be able to understand if the relief medicines are working or not?
• What to do in case of an emergency.
According to U.S department of health and Human Services, there is a form for asthma action plan. In that document,there are three zones to categorize the level of asthma, a person is a victim of. The zones are green zone (doing pretty well), yellow zone (asthma is getting worse) and finally the red zone (medical alert).
• Green zone
Green means “Go”. If you want to be perfectly healthy then your aim must be to stay in this green zone eternally. Basically, in this zone, asthma symptoms are not found at much and besides, you do not require any type of medication or treatment.
In this written asthma action plan the green zone is for those patients who have:
■ No wheeze, cough, chest tightness
-Shortness of breath during the daytime or nighttime
■ can perform usual activities
Besides on the right-hand side of the form, there is a blank space for medication information such as which medicine to take, how long to take or when to take.
• Yellow zone
Yellow zone means “Caution”. Pulmonary functions are drastically reduced in this zone whether you have any asthma symptoms or not. In this zone, the asthma symptoms are from mild to moderate. The asthma symptoms which often appear in patients who belong to this zone are annoying as they might disrupt your sleep or prevent you from doing regular activities.
And the written action plan for this yellow zone is for the patients who have:
-shortness of breath
■ waking at night due to asthma
■ cannot perform all activities except few.
In this zone, a quick-relief medicine should be mentioned as well as patients should carry on with their green zone medicine. Another important thing is, here they have to mention after how long they are taking the puff to keep themselves away from the asthma attack symptoms. The list of information about medication does not end here. If you are returning to the green zone after an hour of the treatment, then the asthma patient should continue to monitor him or herself to remain in the green zone. If the above option is not well founded, which is, if the patient does not go back to the green zone after an hour then it must be recorded what other medications are taken to prevent the asthma patient from asthma trigger.
If the fettle of the asthmatic patient is severe the patient should immediately visit the doctor and the doctor will handle from that point.
• In both the zones peak expiratory flow meter is used and the peak flow is recorded. A peak expiratory flow meter is a transportable device which is often used by asthma patients to measure the amount of air they can successfully exhale out of their lungs. If the peak expiratory flow value reveals 80% to 100% then definitely, you belong to the green zone. This value is your personal best measurement recorded. Once again, of your peak expiratory flow value shows 50% to 79%, then you belong to yellow zone.
• Red zone
Red zone means“DANGER”.
The patients in thered zone have the subsequent asthma symptoms:
■ Very short breath
■ Quick-relief medicines failed to assist
■ is not able to perform usual activities
■ Symptoms remain the same or in some cases can get worst after 24 hours in Yellow Zone
The danger signs of asthma symptoms are:
■ Trouble walking
-talking short and quick breath
■ Lips or fingernails are blue
Once again, the peak expiratory flow meter is measured and recorded for this zone.Your peak expiratory flow shows the value less than 50%. Medications should be listed. But an important thing is, patient in this zone are under the threat of dead. If conditions do not improve within 15 minutes, they should call an ambulance and get admitted to the hospital as soon as possible.
Overall, this is an outline for the asthma action plan organized by the U.S department of health and Human Services. Having an asthma action plan is distinctly important for people who are at risk of serious allergic reactions or are victims of an asthma attack or are experiencing asthma symptoms from a long period of time.