Step 5: The levels of severity
Next Page

Once the doctor has obtained a detailed medical history, run some tests, and diagnosed you as having asthma, your asthma will be classified. This helps determine the treatment plan. It should be classified again at every office visit. There are four levels of severity:



Mild IntermittentMild PersistentModerate PersistentSevere Persistent
Click the buttons above to see the four levels of asthma severity. Asthma is classified based on how often symptoms occur during the day, how often they occur at night, and spirometry results.

In some cases, your doctor may use "peak flow" measurements to help assess your asthma severity instead of spirometry. Peak flow is a simple method of self monitoring that is described later.

Take note

Regardless of your asthma's classification, any single asthma episode can range from mild to severe. This is true for anyone with asthma.

References

National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report: guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma update on selected topics-2002. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002 Nov;110(5 pt 2):S141-219.

National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 2: guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; 1997 Jul. NIH Publications 97-4051.

Williams SG, Schmidt DK, Redd SC, Storms W. Key clinical activities for quality asthma care: recommendations of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2003 Mar 28;52(RR-6):1-8.

 

Main Menu


Review Date: 5/16/2007

Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.


The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

Related Links
Find a Pulmonologist
Request an Appointment Online or call
800-789-PENN (7366)
Asthma Care Program
Encyclopedia Articles about Allergies and Lung Diseases

 

   
   

 

About Penn Medicine   Contact Us   Site Map   Privacy Statement   Legal Disclaimer   Terms of Use

Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 800-789-PENN © 2014, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania space