Take Charge of Your Asthma

Follow these steps to better health

December 13, 2023  

More than 25 million Americans have asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways to swell and narrow. It can cause symptoms, like wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness, that make it hard to breathe. There is no cure for asthma. But you and your provider can work as a team to control your symptoms.

Treating asthma

Treatment often involves drugs and avoiding asthma triggers. These tips can help you get the most out of your treatment plan:

  • Take your drugs as prescribed. You may need one or both of these asthma drugs:
    • Controller medications – These long-acting drugs help prevent symptoms.
    • Rescue medications – These fast-acting drugs give short-term relief within minutes. Don’t stop taking your drugs on your own.
  • Know and avoid your triggers! Common triggers are colds and upper respiratory infections, pollen, air pollution, animal allergens, scents/fragrances, certain gases, extreme weather changes, smoke, dust mites, stress and exercise.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke.
  • Tell your provider how you feel. Your provider may want to adjust your plan if:
  • Your asthma wakes you up at night. o You use your rescue drug more than two times per week.
  • You need oral steroids, like Prednisone, more than two times per year. o You have to limit your activity.

Have an asthma action plan

You and your provider can create a written asthma action plan. Your plan will help you control your symptoms. It will also tell you what to do if your symptoms get worse.

You may qualify for a gift card through our EXTRAS program for completing an asthma action plan. We can help! Give us a call If you need:

  • Help with an asthma action plan
  • A home evaluation to find out what triggers may be in your home
  • Someone to teach you about your medications, like when and how to take them

You can reach our Member Services team at 888-257-1985, (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.