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Asthma Management

By monitoring symptoms and practicing self-management, people who have asthma can control their asthma symptoms. An important part of learning to control asthma is keeping a daily asthma diary. The asthma diary is used to:

  • Record daily peak expiratory flow (PEF) readings and asthma symptoms
  • Compare PEF readings and symptoms with asthma zones, and
  • Keep track of how often rescue medications are used

Recording this information will help you become aware of early signs of asthma episodes. Your doctor will also use this diary to evaluate how well your or your child's treatment plan is working.

How to keep a daily asthma diary

First, record your peak flows in the appropriate asthma zone so that you can refer to them easily.

Green zone:

Asthma is well-controlled. There are no asthma symptoms. You (or your child) can complete regular activities and sleep without coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. PEF is 80 to 100 percent of personal best.

My green zone is ________to ________.

Yellow zone:

A flare-up, or asthma is poorly controlled. Cough, wheeze, shortness of breath, or chest tightness may be present. PEF is 50 to 80 percent of personal best.

My yellow zone is _______ to _______.

Red zone:

A severe flare-up or medical emergency. Symptoms are: frequent cough, severe shortness of breath, trouble talking, rapid breathing, wheezing, and difficulty sleeping. Start emergency asthma medication immediately and call your asthma care provider. If there is no change after starting the medication, go to the emergency room.

My red zone is ________.

To complete the diary
  • Fill in the date each day.
  • Fill in your or your child's PEF reading using the peak flow meter. Measure PEF before taking asthma medications.
  • Compare your PEF readings to the asthma zones listed above. Follow instructions on the Asthma Action Plan.
  • Fill in the amount of rescue medication (MDI, DPI or nebulizer) used over the past 24 hours.
  • Rate any asthma symptoms you or your child had during the day.
  • Remember to take your asthma daily diary with you to appointments with your doctor or health care provider so they can review it with you.
Asthma Diary
Date PEF Readings AM PEF Readings PM No. of Puffs of Rescue MDI/DPI Cough Wheeze Shortness of Breath Chest Tightness
        None = 0; Occasional = 1; Frequent = 2; Continuous = 3
               
               
               
               
               
               
               

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 10/11/2010...#4070


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