The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Teva Respiratory have announced the launch of a national awareness campaign – Know Your Count – aimed at raising awareness of the seriousness of asthma and educating asthma patients and caregivers about the importance of keeping track of the remaining doses in their rescue inhalers.

The campaign features award-winning singer and actress, Kristin Chenoweth, who is speaking publicly for the first time about the impact her asthma has had on her professional career and busy lifestyle. For more information about the Know Your Count campaign, Kristin’s experience with asthma and to view an important public service announcement (PSA), visit www.KnowYourCount.com.

“I have struggled with asthma for more than a decade and am excited to be part of the Know Your Count campaign” said Kristin Chenoweth, Know Your Count spokesperson. “As a singer and actress, my schedule can be quite hectic at times and I simply can’t afford to let my asthma symptoms slow me down. To ensure I’m prepared in the event of an asthma attack, I count on my rescue inhaler with a dose counter to help me keep track of my remaining doses. It is my hope that by sharing my personal experience, I can encourage patients to know their count when it comes to asthma management.”

Approximately 25 million Americans are living with asthma, a common chronic disease of the lungs, in which the airways become blocked or narrowed causing breathing difficulty. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, and chest tightness. During an asthma attack, the airways can narrow to the point that not enough oxygen can get into the blood and travel to vital organs. In very severe cases, asthma can be life threatening.

Children and adults with asthma need to rely on a quick-relief (or “rescue”) inhaler during an attack, so having enough medication in an inhaler when they need it is critical. Despite the life-saving nature of these medicines, a recent survey co-sponsored by AAFA and Teva of approximately 590 patients with asthma revealed that nearly half of respondents reported their rescue inhaler was empty when needed at least once in the past, requiring one-out-of-ten of them to go to the emergency room and one-out-of-five to go without treatment during the asthma attack.

“Each year, asthma attacks account for nearly two million emergency room visits in the U.S.,” said Mike Tringale, Senior Vice President at AAFA. “The findings from our survey reveal that there is a significant need to educate patients about the importance of tracking the remaining doses in their rescue inhalers, so they have access to medication when needed. Using rescue inhalers with a dose counter is a great way to do just that. By joining forces with Kristin Chenoweth and Teva Respiratory, it is our hope that together we can encourage patients to know their count when it comes to safely managing their asthma.”

Visit www.KnowYourCount.com for more information.

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