Guide to Asthma


Having asthma can be intimidating!

There are many "dos and don'ts," a variety of different medications for different purposes, lots of advice to be had from family, friends, and even strangers, and plenty of mis-information always available.

For instance, you may have heard that asthma is mostly due to psychological weakness ("it's all in your head"). Someone may have recommended a special diet to you; someone else may have suggested that you stay away from those same foods. You may have been told that asthma medications can be addictive and shouldn't be taken regularly. Or you may believe that asthma goes away when you are feeling well, so that there is no need for medicines to treat asthma except when you are sick.

The staff at the Partners Asthma Center have written this Asthma Guide to correct these and other misconceptions about asthma. We want to make available to you correct information about asthma in a readable form.

After you make your way through the seven simple lessons in this Guide, you will have a better understanding about asthma and its treatment. You will be able to explain — to yourself and to others — what asthma is, how it is best prevented, and how it can be treated. You will know how to deal with sudden difficulty in breathing due to asthma, an asthma attack.

It is true that having asthma may sometimes be intimidating. But knowing the facts about asthma can put you in control again. We can't make asthma "just go away," but we can help you take charge of your asthma. Armed with the knowledge and skills outlined in this booklet, you can make lung health happen.