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What Is Mild Persistent Asthma?


Updated May 28, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: What Is Mild Persistent Asthma?

Mild persistent asthma is a level of asthma severity as outlined in the NHLBI's Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, which doctors use to make management decisions for asthma. Your asthma severity will be classified in one of the following categories, based on your symptoms.

After assessing asthma severity, your asthma doctor will likely recommend a treatment based on it.

Asthma Classification: How Is Asthma Classified As Mild Persistent Asthma?

People with mild persistent asthma typically have asthma symptoms that occur almost weekly, but a single controller medication is usually sufficient to gain control. Your asthma severity is classified as mild persistent asthma when you:
  • Have asthma symptoms more than 2 days per week, but not daily
  • Wake up from your asthma 3 to 4 nights per month
  • Use your rescue inhaler more than 2 days per week, but not daily
  • Have only minor interference with your daily activities
  • Have a FEV1 greater than 80% of predicted or normal lung function most of the time

Treating Your Mild Persistent Asthma

You will need a daily asthma medication with anti-inflammatory properties. In general, a low-dose inhaled steroid is the recommended first line treatment in mild persistent asthma, but Cromolyn, Nedocromil and Theophylline are possible alternatives.

If you your asthma severity is worsening, it may be time to step up your asthma treatment. This is not uncommon, and asthma control may fluctuate over time.


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed: May 20, 2010. Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR3): Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma

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