Skip to main content

Asthma Specialist

Vasif C Kalfa, MD -  - Allergist

Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland

Vasif C Kalfa, MD

Allergist & Immunologist located in Silver Spring, MD

More than 8% of Americans have asthma. If you have trouble breathing, Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland in Silver Spring, Maryland, can help. Internationally recognized board-certified specialist Vasif Kalfa, MD, is a pulmonary function testing expert who can diagnose and treat your asthma using effective treatments to help you breathe more easily. Call the office or book your appointment online today.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition in which inflammation leads to airway restriction. This causes breathing difficulties, which can grow dangerous if untreated. 

Asthma affects both children and adults, although some children do outgrow their asthma. In most cases, asthma is a lifelong condition that requires diligent management and prevention strategies. 

At Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland, Dr. Kalfa provides compassionate, comprehensive asthma care to help you breathe better.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Asthma causes symptoms that commonly include:

  • Wheezing, a whistling or crackling noise when you breathe
  • Difficulty breathing enough air or shortness of breath
  • Chronic coughing, especially at night
  • Chest tightness, heaviness, or constricted feeling
  • Mucus production, which you may expel when coughing
  • Poor sleep due to coughing and chest discomfort

People who have asthma can experience breathing difficulties and coughing at any time. But, the most severe symptoms occur during an asthmatic episode (asthma attack). An asthma attack happens suddenly, causing severe breathing problems and other symptoms.

What triggers an asthma attack?

The asthma symptoms characteristic of an asthma attack commonly start after exposure to a trigger, with the most common examples including:

  • Allergies (pollen, pets, mold, dust mites)
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Breathing in cold, dry air
  • Stress
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Understanding your triggers is important when you have asthma. Dr. Kalfa can review your activities and environment and also perform various testing to determine your asthma triggers. 

How is asthma diagnosed?

At Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland, Dr. Kalfa reviews your individual and family medical history and performs a physical exam. Depending on your symptoms, you may need allergy testing. 

Dr. Kalfa offers spirometry, a type of pulmonary function testing, to diagnose asthma. Spirometry measures how much air you can inhale and exhale. 

During this simple test, you breathe into a mouthpiece several times as directed. You usually have three spirometry tests, with time to rest in between, over a period of 30 minutes. 

With spirometry, Dr. Kalfa determines how well your lungs function, making it an effective way to diagnose not only asthma but also allergies, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), upper respiratory infections, lung cancer, and other pulmonary conditions. 

After your spirometry test, Dr. Kalfa can make a diagnosis and recommend an asthma management plan. 

You may need inhaler medications for asthma attacks, daily preventive inhalers, oral medications, or other treatments to control asthma attacks, along with careful trigger avoidance. 

Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland can help you control and manage your asthma to enjoy a good quality of life. Book your appointment online or call the office today.