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What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic illness that can range from mild to severe. This means there is no cure, it will always affect your lungs to a certain extent. Asthma affects 8.4% of Canadians. Uncontrolled asthma is very common, however, proper medication and good self-management skills can help most people gain control of their asthma.

When someone has asthma, factors in the environment and physical processes inside the body can activate your immune system. Normally, the body’s immune system protects us from harmful bacteria, viruses, allergens and toxins. But in asthma, the immune system reacts to things that do not necessarily pose a threat, such as allergens (e.g. dust mites in the air you breathe, pet dander, pollens, etc.). Protective cells release chemicals that cause swelling in the airways.

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What are the symptoms of asthma?

Asthma can range from very mild to more severe. Here are some of the common symptoms of asthma that are caused by airway inflammation and muscle spasm:

Symptoms may be triggered or worsened by factors such as viral infections, common allergens, irritants (tobacco smoke, strong odors), exercise and stress. In some cases, these respiratory symptoms can also be triggered by exercise or occur at night. Speak with your resource person (your asthma educator) to check what symptoms you may still feel when you are at your best.

How to know if my asthma is well controlled?

Good asthma control means your symptoms (including flare-ups or periods of worsening of symptoms) are minimized. The following are indicators of asthma control:

How is asthma managed?

Remember: The goal of properly managing your disease is to achieve control. The following must be included in a comprehensive treatment plan for asthma:


The objective will be to optimize your global treatment and help you master the needed skills to manage your disease on a day-to-day basis.

It is important to contact your doctor and resource person when you have a flare-up so that they may guide you with your Action Plan and monitor your improvement. People with more severe or frequent symptoms may need to be followed more closely to monitor lung function and to review their Asthma Action Plan.

Can people with asthma get better?

Asthma can have an impact on your job, hobbies, and social relationships. You and your loved ones may worry about the next time your symptoms get out of control.

However, there are many things that can be done to help you managing this chronic disease. Your doctor may refer you to other professionals (respiratory educator, pharmacist, social worker, etc.) to help you explore ways to cope with your asthma.

How professionals can help you manage your asthma

Severe Asthma

What is Severe Asthma?

Severe Asthma is a type of asthma that’s really hard to manage, even if you take lots of medicine. It’s the most serious form of asthma and can be very dangerous.

It can affect you in many ways, often with more frequent and severe symptoms than just the shortness of breath that many get with milder forms of asthma. Patients with this condition are likely to have frequent asthma flare-ups that affect their ability to do day-to-day things.

How many people live with Severe Asthma in Canada?

Asthma Canada estimates that between 230,000 and 465,000 Canadians are living with this condition. This represents about 5-10% of all individuals diagnosed with asthma. The impact of severe asthma is more serious compared to those with milder forms of the disease, with a higher rate of death.

Asthma causes the deaths of over 250 Canadians a year. That is why it is so important that this condition be managed effectively.

What is the Main Difference Between Mild-to-Moderate Asthma and Severe Asthma?

The main difference between mild-to-moderate asthma and severe asthma is the frequency and intensity of symptoms, the level of medication required to control symptoms, and the affect of these symptoms on daily life.

Here are the key differences between mild-to-moderate asthma and severe asthma:

These differences show the need for a precise diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan, especially for those with severe asthma, to help their wellbeing quality of life.

Severe Asthma Action Plan

Severe Asthma Action Plan is a personalized guide developed by healthcare professionals to help individuals with severe asthma manage their condition. It outlines specific actions to take based on the severity of symptoms, helping patients maintain control over their asthma and react quickly and appropriately when symptoms worsen.

At Respiplus we have created a FREE Severe Asthma Action Plan to provide you with the tools you need to manage your sypmtoms and improve your quality of life.

Download our Severe Asthma Action Plan and work with your healthcare professional to tailor it to your specific needs.

It’s It’s completely free. Simply click the button below to get started:

Severe Asthma Action Plan