Asthma

Asthma Specialist
Just how common is asthma? An estimated 235 million people suffer from it, according to the World Health Organization. Fortunately, the condition is easily managed, which means that people with asthma can still live comfortable lives. If you’d like to determine whether you or your child has asthma, call or click today to schedule an appointment with Mary Anne Pajel-Sio, MD at Willow Park Medical Group in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Asthma Q&A

by Mary Anne Pajel-Sio, MD

What is asthma?

Asthma is a disease of the lungs that causes constriction of the airway, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma is characterized by periods of calm, in which symptoms are present but minor or manageable, and periods of exacerbation referred to as asthma attacks.

Asthma attacks cause sudden serious changes in the airway, making it difficult to get enough air. These instances require immediate medical treatment.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Symptoms and severity vary from person to person. The most common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath. During an asthma attack, you may feel as if you can hardly breathe.

Many patients report that their symptoms are worse at night than they are during the day.

Because these symptoms can also indicate pneumonia, bronchitis, or other serious problems, you should see Dr. Pajel-Sio if you experience new or worsening symptoms. She can diagnose the cause and select a treatment that addresses all the relevant factors.

What causes asthma?

Asthma is a complex disease, and it’s unclear why some people develop asthma, and other people don’t despite similar exposures and risk factors. Scientists believe that asthma is the result of complex genetic and environmental factors.

Common asthma triggers include:

  • Pollen, mold spores, dust, and pet dander
  • Physical activity
  • Respiratory infections like bronchitis
  • Certain medications
  • Cold air
  • GERD
  • Preservatives

When do asthma symptoms require a doctor’s attention?

It’s important to seek attention from Dr. Pajel-Sio if:

  • You have symptoms of asthma but have not been diagnosed
  • Your asthma plan is no longer effectively controlling your symptoms
  • You have symptoms of an asthma attack or are struggling to breathe


If you have asthma, you should also seek treatment early for other illnesses that might exacerbate your condition, such as chest colds.

If you suspect you have asthma or need to update your treatment plan, book an appointment with Dr. Pajel-Sio online today.

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