Asthma Specialist

Preventive Medical Center of Marin


Integrative Family Medicine located in San Rafael, CA

Over 8% of Americans have asthma, a chronic condition that causes inflammation in your airways. If you live with asthma, contact Elson M. Haas, MD, and the team at Preventive Medical Center of Marin for customized, integrated asthma management services. Dr. Haas and his team are devoted to helping you improve your health and wellness with a combination of the best practices of Western and Eastern medicine and other natural therapies. Call the office in San Rafael, California, or make an appointment online today.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that causes inflammation, swelling, and excess mucus production in your lungs which restricts your breathing. Your airways become narrow, which limits the amount of air that can enter or leave your lungs. It causes respiratory symptoms including:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain

You may also experience an asthma attack, which is an episode in which your airways become more restricted, and you struggle to get enough air. You may also experience severe coughing and wheezing as your body works to take in air.

What causes asthma?

Your genetics and family history contribute to your risk of asthma, as do environmental factors. However, medical researchers haven’t identified a specific underlying cause of asthma. Some of the common triggers of asthma include:

  • Airborne allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust
  • Physical activity
  • Air pollutants
  • Cold air
  • Certain medications
  • Respiratory infections

It’s common for a patient to have both asthma and allergies, which increases your sensitivity to specific substances referred to as allergens. While airborne allergens can undoubtedly irritate your lungs and trigger an allergic reaction that increases your asthma symptoms, other allergies, such as food allergies or sensitivities, can also contribute to inflammation throughout your body, including in your lungs.

How is asthma diagnosed?

Dr. Haas and his team diagnose asthma with a physical exam and lung function testing. During your exam, they listen to your lungs while you breathe to identify the tell-tale sound of wheezing. They also use tests such as spirometry and peak flow measurement to assess your lung function and estimate the narrowing of your bronchial tubes.

What are the treatments for asthma?

At Preventive Medical Center of Marin, Dr. Haas and his team take a multidisciplinary approach to asthma management, combining custom-selected therapies from the best of conventional, Eastern, and naturopathic remedies.

For example, lifestyle modifications are often a critical part of asthma management. Dr. Haas wants to help you improve your overall health and heal any underlying conditions that contribute to your asthma symptoms.

He may offer extensive allergy testing to identify your specific allergens so you can implement avoidance strategies, such as adjusting your diet to reduce the amount of inflammation and histamines released in your body. You may also find that getting regular exercise or practicing yoga or meditation can reduce your asthma symptoms.

Dr. Haas can also prescribe medicated inhalers for daily or as-needed use to open your airways and help you breathe easier.

Call the office or schedule an appointment online today for preventive and ongoing asthma management.