May 23, 2019

May is Asthma Awareness Month

Asthma impacts different people in different ways. Most people are able to control their asthma with regular use of their controller medication and using their reliever medication when necessary.
However, for many it can be difficult to recognize when their asthma is not controlled. When asthma is well-controlled, you will experience little to no asthma symptoms.

While frequent flare-ups, increased use of your rescue inhaler, and regular absences from work, school or other activities are obvious signs of poorly controlled asthma, there are other signs that you may just think are part of living with asthma. Asthma Canada refers to these as “Yellow Flags” and experiencing any of them warrant a conversation with your healthcare provider.

Yellow Flags

  • Feeling frightened, frustrated or angry due to asthma
  • You feel you are making too many lifestyle compromises
  • Over-reliance on a caregiver
  • Your family or relationships are negatively impacted
  • You are unable to be as active as you like or unable to keep up with your peers
  • You prioritize reliever medication over controllers
  • Fear of medications or side-effects, or not taking medication properly
  • Your symptoms are indicative of a more serious disease including:
    • Chest pain
    • Nighttime symptoms
    • Increased breathlessness
    • Inability to walk up stairs
    • Feeling of a weight on your chest
    • Coughing that prevents you from continuing your activities
    • Constant wheezing or fatigue
  • You have been diagnosed with other conditions which make asthma worse or difficult to control such as:
    • Nasal polyps
    • Chronic sinusitis or rhinitis
    • Anaphylactic food allergy
    • Obesity
    • Obstructive sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing
    • Gastroesophageal reflux
    • Upper airway dysfunction
    • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • You are experiencing too may negative side effects such as:
    • Weight-gain
    • Irritability
    • Mood changes
    • Facial swelling
    • Insomnia


Learn more about Yellow Flags at 

Source: Asthma Canada: