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