Skip to Content

Asthma Diary

Topic Overview

An asthma diary helps you keep track of how well you are managing your asthma. You record your peak expiratory flow (PEF), your symptoms and what triggers them, and the quick-relief medicine you use to relieve the symptoms.

Measure your PEF often, every morning and evening if possible, and record it in your diary. If you have symptoms or an asthma attack, record the trigger (if possible), the symptoms, and what kind of medicine you used for relief and how well it worked. Also note if you had to contact your doctor or seek emergency care. This can help you know your triggers and help your doctor monitor your treatment.

It may be helpful to record your PEF using the same green, yellow, and red zone system used in your asthma action plan.

Here is an example of how to use an asthma diary.

Week of October 12

My personal best is 400 liters per second. My:

  • Green zone is 320 to 400 liters per second (80% to 100% of my personal best). To figure 80% of your personal best peak flow, multiply your best flow (in this example, 400) by 0.80 (in this example, you get 320).
  • Yellow zone is 200 to 319 liters per second (50% to less than 80% of my personal best). To figure 50% of your personal best peak flow, multiply your best flow (in this example, 400) by 0.50 (in this example, you get 200).
  • Red zone is less than 200 liters per second (less than 50% of my best).

My current long-term medicines are fluticasone and salmeterol.

Example of an asthma diary
Date AM/PM PEF Trigger Symptoms Quick-relief medicine and response Red zone visit to doctor/hospital?

Green

Yellow

Red

Monday

350 a.m.

300 p.m.

     

Beta2- agonists

Improved PEF

No
Tuesday    

190

Swimming Wheezing

Beta2- agonists

Eliminated wheezing

No

Click here for a blank asthma diary templateblank asthma diary template(What is a PDF document?).

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last Revised February 22, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.