If you’re a person with asthma, even if your asthma is under control, you need to see your doctor on a regular basis. Learn how these visits can make a difference.
Asthma is a disease that is with you all the time. Like many adults with asthma, you may have days when you feel fine with few, if any, symptoms. Other times you may have trouble controlling your asthma and experience asthma attacks often. These attacks may be characterized by wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
If you have been diagnosed with asthma, it’s important to monitor the disease and get ongoing care. Regular doctor visits — at least twice a year or as directed by your doctor — can help you avoid asthma flare-ups. If your symptoms are not being well controlled, you should also see your doctor. People who have been diagnosed with asthma should have a written action plan from their doctor. The action plan will show your daily treatment and the steps you should take if you asthma symptoms get worse.
Your doctor can help you manage your asthma, so you can:
- Continue your normal activities and sleep through the night
- Prevent chronic symptoms like shortness of breath and coughing
- Maintain good lung function
- Reduce your need for quick-relief (rescue) medicines
- Prevent attacks that may send you to the emergency room or hospital
- Your asthma checkup
In the beginning of your asthma treatment, your doctor may want to see you often. Once your asthma is under control, the visits may decrease to twice a year. The frequency of your visits will depend on a number of factors, such as changes in your medications and how controlled your condition is.
Keep in mind that your asthma can change over time. Regular doctor visits will help ensure that you make adjustments in your treatment if necessary.