Monday, March 24, 2008

New Asthma Guidelines: Take the Online Asthma Test!

One of the big problems in treating asthma is that patients tend to underestimate the severity of their asthma.

For example: One mother came with her 5 year old asthmatic son and said that the child has been coughing at night maybe only twice a week. Obviously, she is under the impression that night coughs twice a week is considered mild and not action need to be taken. The fact is that night coughs are considered serious enough to warrant further evaluation if they occur more than twice per month!

So in this short post, I would like to outline for you the criteria for which you should be seeking medical help to manage your asthma.

With the latest innovations in asthma management, the bar for good asthma control has been raised. It is no longer good enough for you or your child to be able to survive on that blue puffer. The current criteria for good asthma control is defined as:
  • No daytime symptoms (twice or less/week)
  • No limitation of daily activities, including exercise
  • No nocturnal symptoms or awakening because of asthma
  • No need for reliever treatment (twice or less/week)
  • No exacerbations
  • Normal or near normal lung function results
From this you can see that the criteria for good asthma control is quite stringent! The good news is that with modern medications, it is possible to achieve good control of asthma.

Now there is a quick and simple way of determining if you need to see your doctor about your asthma. All you need to do is answer 5 simple questions and add up the score. They even have a special set of questions for your child.

You can take the test by visiting

A score >= 20 means your asthma is well controlled and you can maintain or step down on your medication

A score of <20>means you will have to seek medical advise on how to control your asthma better

You can read the other Asthma posts HERE

Clinical Practice Guidelines: Management of Asthma. MOH 1/2008

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