Region 8 Fight the Battle on Asthma

November 4, 2004 – Posted at 6:22 p.m. CST


PARAGOULD -- Chances are you, or someone you know has asthma.

  There's nothing more frightening than when you can't breathe, but a new treatment is offering hope to asthma sufferers.

Millions of Americans suffer from asthma, but most don't realize how serious this illness can be.

 Pharmacist Steve Smoker says, “We fill a great deal of prescriptions for asthma. It's one of the more prevalent diseases in this area. It is more common than people think. A lot of people suffer from asthma and don't even realize it,” he says.

Karen Brown has been a teacher for 33 years and knows first hand the effects of asthma.

“I don't think anybody realizes how serious asthma can be until you've lived with it and once you live with it and you see that person or that child gasping for air and not being able to get their breath it comes home,” Karen says.

Her daughter Lisa had asthma but lost her battle with the disease.

 “Asthma can be controlled to a certain extent but if you don't get something done in time severe damage can be done and you can die,” she says.

There have been reports of a permanent treatment for asthma that is not yet available in the United States.

The treatment is described as a remedy for the root of the problem, the bronchial tubes.

 It has been suggested that applying a certain amount of heat to the tubes will free the congestion of the airways and allow more oxygen to flow through.

However, some doctors are skeptical about the treatment.

Doctors say that by the time this is made available other more standard therapies might be equally effective.

People like Karen Brown continue to hope for a permanent cure for asthma. A cure to save asthma patients from the same disease that took the life of her daughter.

“I wish we would've had that opportunity. Lisa might still be alive today. She was only 33 years old when she died; she had her whole life ahead of her. We live with her loss everyday,” Karen says.