Guidelines-based management of the patient with asthma allows maximal levels of function with few adverse effects. A flexible approach to therapy that emphasizes an ongoing partnership between the patient and physician allows optimal communication, facilitating treatment adherence and maximal levels of control. Through assessment of the patient's initial severity of disease and an evaluation of the patient's ongoing level of control, appropriate medical therapy can be initiated and level of therapy can be modified based on the patient's response. Patient education, environmental control strategies, and proper use of medications are vital in achieving maximal benefit in asthma management. Excellent asthma control is possible and should be a goal of both physicians and patients.