Although modern asthma medications are extremely effective, research shows that more than half of Ontario’s two million asthma sufferers experience poor asthma control, leading to significant symptoms like coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
“People with asthma often stop taking their controller medication as soon as they’re feeling better,” said Carole Madeley, director of respiratory programs with the Ontario Lung Association. “But it’s important that this medication is taken regularly and as directed to prevent symptoms.
“They should also avoid triggers, like pet dander and cigarette smoke. Working with a health-care provider and following an Asthma Action Plan will help to keep symptoms from surfacing and ensure that asthma is well-managed.”
Madeley said that people with asthma can take the following Asthma Control Check – six easy questions that will indicate whether their asthma is under control or whether they should speak to a health-care provider about different treatment options.
- Do you use your reliever inhaler four or more times a week?
- Do you have asthma symptoms (cough, wheeze, difficulty breathing) four or more days a week?
- Do you ever have difficulty exercising or playing sports because of asthma?
- Do you wake up one or more nights a week because of asthma (coughing, wheezing, having difficulty breathing)?
- Have you missed school or work in the last month because of asthma?
- Do you ever have asthma flare-ups (worsening of cough, wheeze, difficulty breathing)?
If you answered YES to any of the questions, speak to your health-care provider about the right medications for you to take control of your asthma.
For more information about asthma or any other lung health issue, call the Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864).