While most of us don’t even notice it, between 12 and 20 times a minute you breathe, yet the simple act of breathing can be a challenge for asthma sufferers. Two-hundred-thousand Iowans have asthma including 40-thousand children. Doctor Rich O’Brien, an emergency medicine specialist, says coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath are all signs of asthma.

Dr. O’Brien says “One out of eight children suffers from asthma and asthma attacks lead to over a million visits to emergency rooms every year. Many of these visits can be avoided with proper treatment.” Asthma can be fatal — and it kills about five-thousand Americans a year.

Costs associated with asthma nationwide exceed 11-billion dollars a year. O’Brien says there are effective treatments to prevent symptoms of asthma from striking in the first place. He says an important way to manage asthma is to talk to your doctor and learn more about what may be triggering the attacks.

O’Brien says “Triggers may include pollen, secondhand smoke, pets, and dust. Don’t let a small problem become a big one. Asthma can be controlled by identifying what triggers your attacks and properly using your asthma medications.”

Two asthma-associated fundraiser walks are planned in Iowa this fall, October 14th in Cedar Rapids and October 21st in Des Moines. For more information, surf to “www.lungusa.org” or call 800-LUNGUSA.