management of asthma

Last edited 11/2019 and last reviewed 07/2022

Main aim of asthma management is to control the disease in order to avoid exacerbations and to reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality (1). Asthma control

  • can be described as the extent to which the manifestations of asthma can be observed in the patient, or have been reduced or removed by treatment
  • should include both symptom control and control of future risk of adverse outcomes. Both should be assessed during consultation

The British guideline on the management of asthma, has defined complete control of asthma as:

  • no daytime symptoms
  • no night-time awakening due to asthma
  • no need for rescue medication
  • no exacerbations
  • no limitations on activity including exercise
  • normal lung function (in practical terms FEV1 and/or PEF>80% predicted or best).
  • minimal side effects from medication (2)

Take into account the possible reasons for uncontrolled asthma, before starting or adjusting medicines for asthma in adults, young people and children. These may include:

  • alternative diagnoses
  • lack of adherence
  • suboptimal inhaler technique
  • smoking (active or passive)
  • occupational exposures
  • psychosocial factors
  • seasonal or environmental factors (3).

In most patients asthma control can be achieved through both non pharmacological (mainly avoidance of triggers) and pharmacological interventions (1)