chapter  19
14 Pages

Role of self-management in preventing asthma exacerbations

WithHeather Powell, Peter G Gibson

Exacerbations are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the morbidity and mortality from asthma. Exacerbations of asthma usually occur gradually over several days to weeks, or on a background of chronic poor asthma control.1,2

This provides an opportunity for early intervention with corticosteroids and β-agonists which act to reverse airflow obstruction and reduce the severity of the exacerbation. People with asthma can learn to recognize the symptoms of an asthma exacerbation and how to respond, to prevent further deterioration. This approach, when combined with appropriate maintenance pharmacotherapy, is an effective way to prevent severe asthma exacerbations. A written action plan facilitates the early detection and treatment of an exacerbation, and is an essential part of the self-management of exacerbations.3