Five tips to manage asthma

Metered dose inhaler


  1. The patient should understand what the medicines are for and be in agreement with their clinician to take them as prescribed. Looking at prescription frequency can be a very useful way of checking if patients are over or under using their asthma medication.
  2. Good inhaler technique is essential. Ask the patient to demonstrate their inhaler technique and correct their technique as required. Do they regularly use the preventer inhaler and how often do they use the reliever inhaler? Do they carry their inhaler with them?
  3. Follow a Personalised Asthma Action Plan (PAAP) this is specific to each patient and includes what to do in the event of an asthma attack. If the person doesn’t have one they should make an appointment with their GP or practice nurse.
  4. Find out if the patient has known asthma triggers and knows how to avoid them.
  5. Encourage the patient to attend an annual review / follow up. If the asthma is not well controlled, the patient  can ask for an asthma review at any time.

If you are not directly responsible for the care of patients with asthma you should:

  • Refer to a health professional trained to do a thorough assessment.
  • Know which questions to ask to guide your patient to seek help.