Dallas: 214-373-1773    Plano: 972-473-7544    Fax: 972-473-7545
If you’re one of the 34 million Americans diagnosed with asthma, At AIR Care, Richard Herrscher, MD, and Maryam Saifi, MD can help you understand this chronic respiratory condition and develop a multitiered treatment approach that keeps it under control. While it’s a serious condition that shouldn’t go ignored, there’s really no need to let asthma rule your life. Call our office today Dallas 214-373-1773 or Plano 972-473-7544 to schedule an appointment.
Asthma Q & A
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) inflammatory disease that affects the walls of the large and small airways that move air into and out of your lungs. The inflammation reduces the size of these passages and can trigger a tightening of the surrounding muscles, which makes it hard to breathe.

Asthma can be mild with only episodic flare-ups or moderate to severe and quite debilitating. If left untreated, asthma can be life-threatening. Asthma-related issues are responsible for an estimated 4000 deaths annually in the United States.
What are the symptoms of asthma?

Typical asthma symptoms include:

  • Wheezing or a scratchy, whistling sound when you breathe, often noted as you exhale
  • Shortness of breath or the sensation that you can’t pull enough air into your lungs
  • Tightness or pain in your chest
  • Chronic cough that may interfere with your sleep at night

These symptoms may worsen suddenly during an acute or sudden asthma flare-up that’s often referred to as an asthma attack. Some people only have symptoms when they exercise or experience an extremely stressful situation.

It’s often more difficult to identify asthma in young children because of their inability to describe their symptoms.

Always call 911 or seek emergency medical care if your child is having difficulty breathing and consider making an appointment with Dr. Herrscher or Dr. Saifi if your child:

  • Has a constant cough or a cough that’s triggered by exercise or cold air
  • Wheezes when exhaling
  • Has episodes of rapid breathing
  • Slows down or stops playing due to breathing issues
  • Avoids sports or play activities that require physical exercise
What are the treatments for asthma?

Effective asthma treatment requires a multipronged approach that includes quick-relief “rescue” inhalers to use during a sudden asthma attack. The medications in these inhalers (bronchodilators) quickly relax your chest muscles and open your airways but aren’t meant for long-term use. If you have asthma and use your rescue inhaler more than twice a week, it’s time to see Dr. Herrscher for an improved treatment plan.

Daily “controller” medications are used for long-term reduction of inflammation and include inhaled corticosteroids such as:

  • Fluticasone (Flovent® HFA)
  • Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler®)
  • Mometasone (Asmanex®)

Because allergies often trigger asthma attacks, Dr. Herrscher and Dr. Saifi might recommend allergy testing and treatment which may include immunotherapy. For moderate to severe asthma, he might also recommend Fasenra™ (benralizumab), which is delivered via injection every four weeks for the first three doses and then once every eight weeks as a maintenance medication.