By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We know that asthma is on the rise in this country. There is a huge tool in the battle against asthma that we don’t always use. The major weapon is education.

Talking to asthmatics and their families and teaching them about the disease is crucial. It makes a great deal of sense. When people understand their disease, they are more likely to try and control it. They understand why the drugs work and what can be done.

Now, if you or your child have asthma, don’t be afraid to learn about it.

When it comes to asthma, control is necessary and the best way to get control is to work with your doctor, recognize the symptoms and get help when you need it.