Updated 09 January 2019

Your 10-point action plan to manage asthma

With careful management, you can keep your asthma under control. The key is to identify what triggers your attacks.

Are you doing what you can to control your asthma? Complete the following action plan to check how you’re doing:






I know which medicine is my reliever.




I use my reliever only when needed.




I know which medicine is my controller




I use my controller on a daily basis, irrespective of whether I experience asthma symptoms or not.




I’ve mastered the inhaler technique.




I know how to use a spacer device.




I know how to use a peak-flow meter.




I understand the warning signs of worsening asthma.




I have a written action plan that I can use in case of an emergency. This plan has been shared with my family, friends and colleagues.




I keep a diary of my asthma symptoms.




I have a written treatment action plan using the Zone method (Green, Yellow and Red Zones), which I’ve discussed with my doctor. 




I have followed an action plan to identify my asthma triggers.




I’m taking steps to limit/prevent exposure to my asthma triggers.




I use my hay fever / sinusitis treatment as prescribed (if applicable). I know how to follow the nose-pump inhaler technique.



You should have ticked ‘Yes’ in each of the lines in the above grid. If not, you should implement the outstanding action items to make sure you control your asthma as best as you can.

Reviewed by independent healthcare consultant Prof Praneet Valodia and pulmonologist Prof Elvis Irusen, Head of the Division of Pulmonology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. October 2018.


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Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

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