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Asthma sufferers: Get informed!

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If you’re one of the estimated 25 million Americans who suffer from asthma, you know what it’s like to experience symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. To raise awareness and understanding of this serious and growing health problem, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Genentech have joined with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to launch The Asthma Express, an educational awareness program to help bring allergic asthma to the forefront.

The program highlights the increasing number of people suffering from the disease and how it affects them. The program encourages people to get screened to help determine if their asthma is uncontrolled and to talk with an asthma specialist, like an allergist or pulmonologist, about their results and if they should be screened for allergic asthma. The Asthma Express is stopping in selected cities across the U.S., educating people at community health fairs about asthma, allergic asthma and some available testing options.

In each city, the educational experience features:

• Interactive iPad stations where people can learn more about allergic asthma.

• Free testing options to see if your asthma is uncontrolled and if allergens may play a role in your asthma.

• A take home educational kit to help people talk with their healthcare provider about the disease.

Many things can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms, leading to uncontrolled asthma that may vary and recur over time. Of the different types of asthma, allergic asthma is the most common form affecting approximately 60 percent of all asthma sufferers in the U.S. Allergic asthma is caused by sensitivity to year-round allergens in the air that trigger an allergic reaction that can lead to asthma attacks and symptoms. It is also associated with IgE, a type of antibody responsible for most allergic reactions. Typically your healthcare provider will use a skin or blood test to see if your asthma is caused by allergens in the air.

“It is important to understand what could trigger your allergic asthma to help better control your disease,” says Dr. Travis Stork, ER doctor and host of the Emmy award-winning talk show “The Doctors.” “Many people living with asthma and allergic asthma have triggers. Identifying your triggers can help you work with your doctor to determine the most appropriate course of action. The one thing I always tell patients: ‘Empower yourself.’ When it comes to asthma, find out if your asthma is allergic asthma.”

Only your healthcare provider can tell you if you have allergic asthma. Be sure to talk to your doctor.

To find out more about allergic asthma and when The Asthma Express may be coming to a city near you, visit www.AsthmaExpress.com.

Dr. Stork is being compensated for his participation in this educational campaign, which is sponsored by Genentech and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Courtesy of State Point Media

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