Asthma is a long-term lung disease that damages the airways. Your lungs’ airways are tubes that carry air in and out. The airways might become irritated and narrowed if you have asthma. When you exhale, this makes it more difficult for air to flow out of your airways. The symptoms of asthma are not the same for everyone, and depending on the signs, in which zone will you be categorized.
Green/Go Zone for Asthma
If you have all of them, you are in the Green/Go Zone:
- Breathing is beneficial.
- There is no cough or wheeze.
- No pain or tension in the chest.
- Can sleep all night
- Able to work and play
Follow the directions on your control or preventative medications (if prescribed). If activity is an asthma trigger, you may take a quick-relief medication before you begin exercising to prevent asthma symptoms (this is known as “pre-treatment”). Constant monitoring with remote patient monitoring is a must-do in this zone. Remote patient monitoring can also help you prevent the excessive exercise by providing real-time monitoring of vital signs during exercise.
Yellow/Warning Zone for Asthma
When you first notice asthma signs or symptoms, you are in the Yellow/Caution Zone. The following are signs and symptoms that your asthma is growing worse:
- Breathing problems
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Asthma symptoms keep you up at night
- After being exposed to a recognized trigger, experiencing any signs or symptoms.
- When you have a cold or a respiratory infection, you may have trouble breathing.
When in the Yellow/Caution Zone, take your asthma medications as directed at the first sign of symptoms. This could be a single quick-relief drug, a quick-relief and a controller inhaled together, or a combination inhaler. Remote patient monitoring can keep track of your vital signs and symptoms until they get better. RPM can also help you remember to take your medications by setting alarms. See your doctor if your asthma relievers aren’t working and your symptoms aren’t improving.
Red/Danger Zone Asthma
Take your quick-relief medications if you’re in the Red/Danger Zone. Get emergency care if your breathing does not improve quickly. Severe asthma attacks are potentially fatal. Symptoms of an asthma attack that require immediate medical attention include:
- Asthma symptoms are rapidly worsening
- Quick-relief asthma medications aren’t working
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Shortness of breath is severe.
- Breathing is more rapid or slower than usual
- Breathing can be difficult or shallow
- Shortness of breath makes it challenging to walk or speak
- When breathing, the skin sucks in between or around the neck, chest plate, and/or rib bones; this is uncommon in adulthood
- Ribs or stomach moving deeply and quickly in and out
- When you exhale, your chest expands and does not shrink
- Hunched posturing
- Cyanosis is a tissue color shift that appears grey or whitish on darker skin tones and bluish on lighter skin tones on mucous membranes and fingertips or nail beds
Symptoms of the Red/Danger Zone constitute a medical emergency. This can be easily detected with deviations in the trend of vital signs recorded by your RPM device. Take your quick-relief medications as soon as possible and seek medical help immediately. Call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room. Constantly monitor your vital signs until the ambulance arrives. After an emergency room visit or a hospital stay, contact your provider within two days and continuously monitor your vital signs with remote patient monitoring.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects both children and adults. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Remote patient monitoring can help you monitor your vital signs.