Controlling Asthma

Controlling Asthma

05.01.12 | By Preet Bilinski

With today being World Asthma Day, PhRMA joins with public health officials, health organizations, and patient groups around the world to emphasize that you can control your asthma, the theme for 2012.

Some people struggle with asthma on a daily basis, missing work and/or school because of it. Others are doing such a great job of controlling their asthma, you wouldn't even know they had it. In talking to my colleagues, I learned a number of them have asthma and over the years have learned to manage it so that it doesn't interfere in their daily lives. Hear from one of my colleagues directly on her personal experience with asthma.

Sharon Brigner, a registered nurse with over 15 years of clinical experience, spends her weekends helping out at in the emergency room at INOVA Reston Hospital. But when her son, Brandon, has an asthma attack, she is just a mother watching her child gasp for air. One of Brandon's worst attacks was when he was five, and what started out as a routine cold, something that would take an average child a day or two to get over, turned into pneumonia in both his lungs, resulting in a week-long stay at the hospital.

Sharon tells us about her greatest fear for Brandon when he was first diagnosed and working with his doctors to develop an asthma action plan to allow him to lead an active normal life. Today, Brandon is a purple belt in taekwondo; he swims, plays tennis and has no problem running around with his friends, just like other young kids. As a mom, Sharon's proud to see her son be an advocate for himself and educating others, like his friends, teachers and coaches, on the importance of taking care of his asthma.

Even with her strong clinical background and doing everything she's supposed to in order to manage Brandon's asthma, he still has an occasional attack. She hopes that one of the 74 medicines to in development to treat or prevent asthma may keep Brandon from every having another asthma attack.

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