1. Strive for complete control of your asthma.*
Complete control of asthma means exactly what it sounds like - a life free of symptoms and limitations. You should be aiming for:
||Zero nighttime awakenings
||Zero time lost from school, work and play
||Zero exercise limitations
||Zero emergency room visits
||Zero time spent in hospital because of asthma
||Zero side effects from asthma medications
2. Discuss your personal targets in asthma management with your doctor or health-care advisor.
3. Access accurate and up-to-date information/advice about asthma and its management, and participate in decisions about your care.
4. Access appropriate medications as needed.
5. Access asthma and health-care services in a timely manner, including physician appointments and treatments in hospitals anywhere in Canada.
6. Access regular asthma assessments with scheduled follow-up visits without waiting for an emergency.
7. Access spirometry/lung-function testing in the primary health-care setting.
8. Access referral to an allergist for assessment and testing when required.
9. Access asthma education programs anywhere in Canada.
10. Live and work in smoke-free environments with no exposure to second-hand smoke.
1. Take an active role in managing your asthma with the support of your health-care team. For the most part, control of your asthma rests with you. You are the one managing it on a day-to-day basis.
2. Stay informed about asthma and know your numbers
||How is your lung function? Peak flow
measurements and spirometry are simple
breathing or lung-function tests. Most
children can do them by the age of six.
Lung-function testing is a useful tool with
which you and your health-care provider
can assess the severity of your asthma. The
results help determine the degree to which
your asthma is controlled, and the type
and amount of medication you need.
||How much rescue medication do you use? Many
people underestimate how often they have
asthma symptoms. The amount of rescue
medication you use is a good way to gauge
your degree of asthma control. If you are
using your reliever medication regularly,
your asthma may not be controlled. You
definitely should not need your reliever
medication more than two times a week. If you are using it more often, consult
with your doctor.
||How many triggers or allergies do you have?
Many people with asthma have allergic
‘triggers’ that make their asthma worse.
Improve your asthma control by
avoiding or reducing exposure to your
allergens/triggers/irritants. Ask your
doctor if you need to be tested for
allergies and talk about medications
that may help deal with your allergies.
3. Take control
||Take your medication. It sounds simple,
but many people don’t take their
medications properly. When used as
prescribed, the asthma medications are
safe and effective, so use them. If you’re
not sure how, get help from your
doctor, nurse, pharmacist or asthma
||Make and keep regular asthma
appointments. Asthma is a chronic
disease. One visit to a clinic or doctor’s
office or emergency room is not going
to ‘fix’ it. You need to see your doctor
on a regular basis. How often you see
your doctor depends on the severity of
your asthma and level of asthma
control. Make sure that each time you
leave the office or clinic, your next
appointment is booked.
||Make emergency room visits unnecessary.
With complete asthma control, no one
with asthma should have to go to an
emergency room (ER). That doesn’t
mean you shouldn’t go to an ER if you
feel you need to, but an ER visit is a
sign of treatment failure. You and your
primary-care doctor, perhaps with the help of a specialist, need to determine
what went wrong. If you go to an ER
because of your asthma, make a doctor’s
appointment as soon as you get home.
4. Follow a healthy lifestyle that includes
adequate sleep, balanced nutrition and
regular physical activity.
1. Be familiar with the most current
Canadian Adult and Pediatric Asthma
2. Update your knowledge about asthma,
including its management on a regular basis
through continuing medical education.
3. Consider all patients’ personal
circumstances of asthma management to
help them achieve asthma-control goals.
4. Be "partners in care" with patients,
providing them with appropriate and
up-to-date information/advice about
asthma and empowering them to make
5. Build relationships with asthma patients
based on mutual respect.
1. Ensure timely access to proper care for all
patients with asthma, including those in
remote, isolated and First Nations
2. Ensure access to regular asthma
assessments and spirometry or lungfunction
testing in primary health care.
3. Ensure access to asthma education and
4. Ensure equality of asthma care. Recognize
cultural, linguistic, and social barriers to
proper care and strive to remove them.
5. Address outdoor and indoor environmental
issues affecting the health of
patients with asthma.
AIM FOR ZERO
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*According to the guidelines of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA)