According to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, asthma is one of the most underdiag-nosed and undertreated conditions in the United States. Common reasons for this problem on the part of patients and health care professionals include the following:
? Not recognizing that a person has asthma.
? Not expecting enough from therapy.
? Not understanding the benefits and risks of different therapies.
? Not appreciating the chronic nature of asthma.
? Not adhering to preventive therapy.
? Not accurately assessing the severity of an episode.
? Not recognizing signs of deterioration.
? Not treating episodes adequately.
? Not identifying triggers associated with the patient?s asthma and failing to minimize or prevent exposure to such triggers (eg, cigarette smoke).