Don’t let your asthma limit your activities—Control Your Asthma!

  • Follow your Asthma Action Plan and know when and where to get help.
  • Take your medicines as prescribed. Do not stop them without talking to your provider.
  • Keep track of how many puffs are left in your inhalers so you know when to get a refill.
  • If you need albuterol more than 2 days per week or 2 nights per month, your asthma is not controlled! Check your Asthma Action Plan or contact your provider.
  • If one canister of albuterol lasts you at least 4 months, your asthma is well controlled.
  • Avoid your triggers! Dust, pollen, pets, smoke, illness, stress, colds.
  • Contact your provider every 6 months to update your Asthma Action Plan.

How to Use Your Medicines

Inhaler and Spacer Tips: Inhalers with spacers work as well as or better than nebulizers.

  • Shake your canister really well.
  • Prime your inhaler (see back of this page)
  • Always use a spacer
  • If using a mouthpiece: Take a slow breath in and hold for 10 seconds.
  • If using a mask: Make a good seal around the mouth and nose and breathe in and out 10 times.
  • Wait 1 minute between puffs.
  • Wait 5 minutes between using your albuterol and controller medication.
  • Rinse mouth after use.

Nebulizer Tips

  • Most of the medication is lost if you try to give "blow by" treatments.
  • If using a mask, make sure it is touching the skin around the mouth and nose.
  • If using a mouthpiece, make sure the lips are sealed around it.

Common Asthma Triggers

  • Infections - most commonly colds/flu from viruses, but also bacteria (sinus infections and/or pneumonia).
  • Allergies - to dust, pollens (from grass, trees, and weeds), molds, animals, cockroaches for instance. Food allergies may trigger asthma.
  • Exercise or active play - especially running more than 5 minutes.
  • Night time - most asthma is worse at 4 a.m. and best at 4 p.m.
  • Smoke - tobacco smoke (cigarettes, cigars), fireplace, wood burning stove, incense, and/or barbecue.
  • Irritating Fumes/Chemicals - paints, perfumes, detergents, smog or anything with a strong odor may trigger asthma.
  • Weather - Cold air and weather changes (changes in temperature and/or humidity).
  • Stress/Emotions - emotions don’t cause asthma, but in susceptible people, they may trigger it.
  • Acid Reflux (Heartburn) – Acid reflux from the stomach upward into the esophagus may trigger asthma symptoms.
Priming and Cleaning your Inhaler
Medication Priming Repriming When to Reprime # of puffs Cleaning
ProAir (Albuterol) 3 puffs 3 puffs 2 weeks 200 Rinse plastic actuator with water weekly
Flovent (Fluticasone) 4 puffs 1 puffs 7 days/dropped 120 Qtip, No water
Qvar (Beclomethasone) 2 puffs 2 puffs 10 days 120 Wipe with tissue, No water
Dulera(Mometasone/Formeterol) 4 puffs 4 puffs 5 days 120 Wipe with dry cloth, No water