► Health Information LibraryCare GuidesStep 5: The levels of severity

Step 5: The levels of severity


Once the doctor takes a detailed medical history and runs some tests, the doctor can classify how severe your asthma is. This helps your doctor decide which treatment is best for you. Your asthma should be classified again at every office visit. There are four levels of severity:


IntermittentMild PersistentModerate PersistentSevere Persistent


Click the buttons above to see the four levels of asthma severity. Asthma is classified based on how often symptoms occur during the day, how often they occur at night, and spirometry results.

Take note

Regardless of your asthma's classification, any single asthma episode can range from mild to severe. This is true for anyone with asthma.


National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. Rockville, MD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2007. NIH publications 08-4051.

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