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Managing asthma for a normal life

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Managing asthma so you or a loved one can live a normal life. Millions have the respiratory condition that can be deadly.

Working in partnership with our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, we believe it's a privilege and a responsibility to serve you.

In this 'Sinclair Cares' report, Tara Morgan explains why doctors are seeing more asthma patients and what you need to know about asthma attacks.

Dena Friedel's trip down memory lane.

"When she was little, she needed the mask."

Showcasing vital steps to control her daughter's life or death condition.

Jordan was diagnosed with Asthma before she turned two.

"You could tell her breathing was very labored and it was very scary to watch."

Her daughter is now 15, and carries both an emergency inhaler and epinephrine everywhere.

Jordan is also allergic to peanuts.

"The combination of that with the asthma puts her in the highest risk category for severe reactions."

Dr. Brian Fornadel says the prevalence of asthma is going up.

It already affects 20 million people in the United States. Seven million of those are children.

"We're not really sure why perhaps exposure to more pollutants."

People may experience coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing and chest tightness.

Triggers of an attack are wide-ranging.

Everything from dust mites to detergents, cigarette smoke and perfume to outdoor allergens.

"If they have sudden onset of symptoms, they can't access to their inhaler or if they just have severe disease, they can get enough constriction of their breathing tubes in their lungs that they would suffocate."

Dr. Fornadel says new treatment for asthma is more about the delivery method, also combinations of drugs such as corticosteroid plus a long acting bronchodilator.

"We really need to get on top of symptoms and get them under control."

He recommends families work with their doctors to develop an asthma action plan.

"Sometimes if an asthma patient is getting under or developing symptoms quickly, they may not be able to help themselves."

For Jordan, exertion, excess heat and sometimes even anxiety will bring on an attack.

"We've learned to manage it very well."

So she can live as much of a normal life.

"We've always been told not to let asthma run her life."

Dr. Fornadel says some children grow out of asthma.

Adults who've had asthma as a child could develop the condition again.

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