Child Health Library
Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.
Asthma Action Plan: Yellow Zone
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:
- Coughing and wheezing.
- Feeling short of breath and having chest tightness. (Children may express chest tightness as a stomachache.)
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:
- Take your medicine according to your asthma action plan.
- If symptoms do not improve within 20 to 60 minutes or if your peak expiratory flow remains less than 70% of your personal best measurement, or if both, then follow the red zone instructions of your asthma action plan, because your lungs are not responding to medicine.
If you keep going into the yellow zone from the green zone, talk with your doctor. Your regular medicine may need to be changed.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Current as ofSeptember 5, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Lora J. Stewart MD - Allergy and Immunology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.