Why It’s Important to Stick to Your Asthma Medicines + Doctor Visits

Your doctor will stress “medication compliance.” Here’s what that means.

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Asthma is a medical condition that has no cure. That means treatment for asthma is a long-term commitment. By sticking to asthma medicines and your doctor appointments, you can achieve good asthma control that allows you to live a relatively normal life.

“Asthma management is a long-term commitment because it is a chronic respiratory disease,” says Ekta Perera, MD, allergist-immunologist in New York City. "Patients should continue their treatment for as long as they have the condition."

Sticking to Asthma Medicines

You might hear your doctor mention something called “medication compliance.” When it comes to asthma, that means sticking to asthma medicines and your prescribed treatment plan.

Medication compliance is essential for long-term asthma control. You need to stick to the prescribed treatment, even if you “feel fine.” That’s because a huge part of asthma treatment helps keep symptoms away.

“Daily controller medications ... are meant to control airway inflammation and prevent flares of asthma symptoms,” says Dr. Perera. “If patients skip medications or use them improperly, they may develop flares of their symptoms." Dr. Perera warns these flares could result in hospitalizations or emergency room visits.

You might be unclear about how to use your asthma medicines. If this is the case, it's important to review them with your doctor as soon as possible. This can help you avoid any medical emergencies or worsening of your symptoms. If you understand your treatments, but sticking to your asthma medicines is difficult for you, don’t be afraid to say so. Your doctor may have tips to make it easier to stick to your treatment in your daily life.

Following Up with Your Doctor

With any chronic disease, staying in contact with your doctor is important. You and your doctor can work together to find the best treatment plan that allows you to live a life with as few asthma disruptions as possible. Plus, your doctor can help you assess your asthma control and make sure you know how to use your treatments correctly. All of these things can help prevent flares that require hospitalizations or oral steroids.

Sticking with asthma medicines and doctor appointments can help you get the asthma control you’re looking for. Even when things are going well, it’s essential to keep up your asthma treatment.