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Asthma Action Plan: Yellow Zone

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

An asthma action plan is based on zones defined by your symptoms or your peak flow, or both. It tells you what to do if you have a sudden increase in your asthma symptoms (asthma attack).

The yellow zone may mean that you are having an asthma attack or that your medicine needs to be increased.

When symptoms are present, they may be mild to moderate, or they may keep you from your usual activities or disturb your sleep. Symptoms can include:

In the yellow zone, your peak expiratory flow is 50% to 80% of your personal best peak flow measurement. To find 80% of your personal best, multiply your personal best measurement by 0.80. For example, if your personal best flow is 400, then 80% of that is 400 times 0.80, which is 320. And 50% of your personal best would be 400 times 0.50, which is 200. In this example, the yellow zone would be any value from 200 to 320. You may not have any symptoms, but your lung function is reduced.

Treatment for symptoms in the yellow zone includes the following:

If you keep going into the yellow zone from the green zone, talk with your doctor. Your regular medicine may need to be changed.


Credits for Asthma Action Plan: Yellow Zone

Current as of: July 6, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Lora J. Stewart MD - Allergy and Immunology


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