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Asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma management—information for the public

Asthma: the care you should expect

  • Asthma is a common lung condition that affects the airways and can cause serious breathing difficulties. Every day 185 people in the UK are admitted to hospital with an asthma attack, and 5.4 million people are using treatments for asthma. Once asthma is diagnosed it does not have to limit people’s lives. There are lots of treatments to keep symptoms under control, but finding a treatment that works well and learning how to manage it takes the right support and advice.
  • We want this guideline to make a difference to children, young people and adults with asthma by making sure:  
    • doctors offer you the right tests to confirm your asthma as early as possible
    • you can take control of your care by having your own asthma care plan and help to use it
    • you know how to take your asthma medicines and what to do if they are not working
    • you get regular support to make sure you’re using your medicines correctly, for example checking your inhaler technique (NHS Choices has more information about this)
    • you are helped to reduce the amount of medicine you are taking when your asthma is well controlled, so that you are not taking medicine that you don’t need

Making decisions together

  • Decisions about treatment and care are best when they are made together. Your health professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns
  • To help you make decisions, think about:
    • what are you most worried about – are there aspects of asthma and its treatment that worry you more than others?
    • how will the treatment affect your day to day life?
    • whether there are changes you can make to help control your asthma, such as taking your medicine correctly, stopping smoking or identifying triggers
  • If you can’t understand the information you are given, tell your health professional

Where can I find out more?

© NICE 2017. Asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma management—information for the public. Available from: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG80. All rights reserved. Subject to Notice of rights.

NICE guidance is prepared for the National Health Service in England. All NICE guidance is subject to regular review and may be updated or withdrawn. NICE accepts no responsibility for the use of its content in this product/publication.

First included: October 2018.