Do you know your asthma zones? If you don’t, you might need to do some research on yourself…
If you already know your zones, you’re already in great shape! If you don’t, here’s a guide to help you out.
BREATHING IS GOOD – “GREEN ZONE”
SIGNS: You do not have a cough or a wheeze, there is no tightness in your chest or shortness of breath and you can go about your day without any issues.
These are the days that are great! You don’t have any symptoms, can work, play and sleep easily and to be honest, feel like you have a light. When you’re in this zone, you can usually take your long-term control medicine daily. And if you’re exercising, you might just need to take your fast-acting medicine before you start your workout.
BREATHING IS GETTING WORSE – “YELLOW ZONE”
SIGNS: You may have a cough, some wheeziness, tightness in your chest and possible shortness of breath. Your day and night might be a challenge and you may only be able to do some of the activities you’re used to.
These are the days that aren’t so good. You might feel like you have to take your fast-acting medicine more often than usual in addition to your long-term control medicine. When you’re in this zone, really pay attention to your breathing. If you don’t return to the Green Zone within an hour, you may want to call your physician as using your your fast-acting inhaler too often could actually worsen symptoms.
BREATHING IS DIFFICULT – “RED ZONE”
SIGNS: You have any, and possibly, all symptoms associated with asthma – coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breathe, etc. Breathing is hard and fast in this zone. Your nostrils might flare, your ribs might show, you can’t talk well and normal activities are out of the question.
These days are literally the worst! And it might be because nothing seems like it’s working, especially your medicine. When you’re in this zone, hopefully you’re not alone because you’ll need to call your doctor, have someone bring you to the hospital emergency room or call for an ambulance if you need medical treatment ASAP. This is the zone you want to avoid, if at all possible.
Now that you know the zones, what’s next? Well, it’s time to get your plan ready. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America thankfully offers a free Asthma Action Plan that you can download. It is a one-page document where you and your doctor can put all the information you’ll need to know about your zones. And remember, not everyone’s zone is the same. Download the document here and create your own Asthma Action Plan today! Before you go, share with me in a comment what zone you’re in most of the time and what each of your zones are like for you!