Treatment goals for asthma
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) have developed guidelines for getting asthma under control. They list the goals of asthma treatment as:1
- Preventing long-term (chronic) symptoms that interfere with daily living, such as coughing or shortness of breath during the night or after exercise.
- Maintaining lung function near the personal best measurement.
- Allowing the person to participate in all activities of daily living, including work, school, and exercise. Treatment to decrease nighttime symptoms and achieve uninterrupted sleep also is important.
- Preventing repeated asthma attacks.
- Providing the best medicine treatment with the fewest possible side effects.
- Meeting your or your family's expectations for your or your teen's asthma care. Effective treatment for asthma involves a partnership between the person, his or her family, and the doctor.
Goals of treatment for pregnant women with asthma
The overall goals of treatment for pregnant women with asthma are the same as for nonpregnant women with asthma. In addition, emphasis must be placed on:2
- Monitoring lung function throughout the pregnancy to ensure adequate oxygen levels are present for the growing fetus.
- Avoiding and controlling triggers of asthma symptoms so that medicine use may be decreased if possible during pregnancy.
- Using an asthma action plan to manage episodes, and encouraging an increase or decrease in medicine as needed.
- Educating the pregnant woman about management of asthma during pregnancy.
- Delivering a healthy infant.
Definition of well-controlled asthma
The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program considers your asthma is well-controlled if you:3
- Have asthma symptoms on 2 days a week or less.
- Use your quick-relief inhaler on 2 days a week or less.
- Have no asthma symptoms at night and do not wake up because of asthma symptoms.
- Can exercise, work, and go to school with no limitations on your activity level.
- Have a peak flow that is near your personal best (or better).
- Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters (2005). Attaining optimal asthma control: A practice parameter. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 116(5): S3–S11. Available online: http://www.jcaai.org/pp/Attaining_Optimal_Asthma_Control.pdf.
- National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (2005). Working Group Report on Managing Asthma During Pregnancy: Recommendations for Pharmacologic Treatment Update 2004 (NIH Publication No. 05-5236). Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/lung/asthma/astpreg.htm.
- National Institutes of Health (2007). National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (NIH Publication No. 08–5846). Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/asthgdln.htm.
Last Updated: April 21, 2009