pharmacists planning service, inc. 


1. What is asthma?
Asthma, also known as Reactive Obstructive Airway Disease (ROAD), is a chronic condition in which the airways of the lung are either acutely or chronically constricted by swelling, excessive mucus production, and bronchial muscle tightening.

2. What are the symptoms of asthma?
Symptoms can be one or any combination of the following:

  • wheezing
  • coughing after exercising or laughing
  • shortness of breath
  • chest tightness
  • excess mucus production

3. Who gets asthma?
Asthma is not a contagious disease. It can strike anyone at any age. It tends to run in families. Children of parents who have asthma are 3-6 times more likey to develop symptoms than are children whose parents do not have asthma.

4. What triggers asthma attacks?
Factors that trigger asthma attacks vary widely between sufferers. Some common asthma triggers are:


household products


respiratory infextions


air pollution


emotional triggers



5. How can I monitor my asthma?
A great way to monitor asthma is to use a peak flow meter. This device measures the flow of air in a forced exhalation (PEFR). By using a peak flow meter daily, you are provided with information of an oncoming asthma attack, and can take appropriate steps to prevent it. It is important to work closely with your physician to esatablish an alert level and plan a course of action when peak flow values drop.

6. Why should I see a doctor for my asthma when medication is available over the counter?
Asthma medications can be purchased over the counter, but it is not recommended because overusing these medications can be dangerous. Recent new medications work to prevent asthma symptoms rather than to just treat an acute attack. These new medications allow people with asthma to lead more productive lives (less absenteeism from work/school, and other activities). It is important to establish a good working relationship with your physician in order to develop the plan for you and your asthma.

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12