Topic Overview

Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that may
last throughout your life-you must treat it long term. But following a
management plan can be difficult over a long period of time.

Here are some reasons you may not follow your management plan. Possible solutions are listed too.

Asthma management plan problems
Reasons you might not follow plan Possible solutions

You may not fully understand the seriousness of asthma. Some
adults who have mild symptoms may not feel that treatment is
needed.

  • Learn all you can about asthma. Even if you
    have no symptoms, asthma can hurt your lungs, possibly leading to worse
    symptoms later in life.
  • Understand the benefits of treating asthma
    and the risks of not treating asthma.

It may be difficult to visit or communicate with a doctor or pharmacist. This could be because of distance and a lack of
transportation, cultural or language barriers, a lack of trust, or
miscommunication. All of this can lead to little guidance about what to
do.

  • Work with others to ensure that you have
    transportation to your doctor and pharmacy.
  • Work with
    your doctor to develop personal goals and expectations for your
    treatment.
  • If you do not understand something, ask about
    it.
  • If you do not feel comfortable with your doctor,
    consider looking for a new one.
  • If language is a problem, have a
    friend help you or get in touch with a social organization.

Often it is hard for a child to follow the management plan,
because the child must rely on the help of family members and other
people.

Asthma management plan problems for children
Reasons children might not follow
plan
Possible solutions

In single-parent families, a parent may not always be available
to help the child remember to take medicine. It also may mean that a child
has sole responsibility for treatment.

  • Talk to friends, neighbors, and school
    administrators about your child’s asthma and what they can do to
    help.
  • Help your child understand what he or she can do for the
    condition.

The child may have many caregivers, making it hard for the
child to be on a regular schedule.

  • Print a calendar with the child’s schedule
    and who is responsible on each day. Be sure to give a copy of the schedule to all caregivers.
  • Be proactive about calling other caregivers to be sure
    everyone understands what has to be done.
  • Teach your child to be
    proactive in working with caregivers and understanding what he or she has to do
    for the condition.

A shortage of school health professionals may make it hard to
help the child remember to take medicine or to take it correctly.

  • Contact the school principal, other
    administrators, teachers, counselors, and coaches. Make sure they all
    understand that your child has asthma and how important it is that he or she
    takes the medicine.
  • If possible, find one person in the school
    who will see that your child takes his or her medicine.
  • Talk to
    your child’s friends to see if they can help remind your child to take the
    medicine.

Oral corticosteroid syrup (such as methylprednisolone) has a
bitter taste, and some young children will vomit or refuse their
medicine.

  • Work with your doctor. There
    may be other brands or other medicines your child can take.

You may be concerned about the effect of inhaled steroids on your child’s growth or health.

Children or teens may be embarrassed about having to take
asthma medicine. They may feel different from their friends and
peers.

  • Help your child remember that asthma is
    only one part of life.
  • If possible, allow your child to meet with
    his or her doctor alone. This will encourage your child to become
    involved in his or her own care.
  • Work out a daily management plan
    that allows your child to continue daily activities, especially sports.
    Exercise is important for maintaining strong lungs and overall health.
  • Encourage your child to meet others who have asthma so they can
    support each other.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD – Allergy and Immunology

Current as ofMarch 25, 2017