What are the signs asthma is poorly controlled?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: John J Oppenheimer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Answer

Indications of very poorly controlled asthma include the following:

  • Symptoms throughout the day

  • Nighttime awakenings ≥4 times per week

  • Short-acting beta-agonist use (rescue) several times per day

  • Extreme limitation in normal activity

  • FEV1 or peak flow < 60% predicted/personal best

  • Two or more exacerbations requiring oral systemic corticosteroids per year

Recommended actions when asthma is under very poor control include considering a short course of oral systemic corticosteroids, stepping up 1-2 steps, reevaluating the patient in 2 weeks, and considering alternative treatment options if adverse effects occur with therapy.

In 2-6 weeks, in poorly controlled cases, evaluate the level of asthma control that has been achieved and adjust therapy accordingly. Review adherence to medications, inhaler technique, environmental control, and comorbid conditions. A progressive loss of lung function and the adverse effects of medication should also be included in the overall assessment of risk.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!