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What is Severe Asthma?

Severe asthma is asthma that requires high doses of maintenance asthma medication to maintain or control or remains uncontrolled even with such treatment. Occasional flare-ups can occur in all people with asthma, but those with severe asthma continue have frequent symptoms and asthma attacks—even while taking the highest dose of inhaled controller medication.

What are the Symptoms of Severe Asthma?

Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness or pain in your chest

People with severe asthma will experience symptoms more frequently than those with mild asthma.

UR Medicine's Treatments for Severe Asthma

UR Medicine’s Mary Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy & Pulmonary Care offers comprehensive care for patients suffering from severe asthma. Our team includes internationally recognized asthma experts who emphasize personalized approaches to diagnosis and management. 

Your first visit will include a detailed medical history, physical exam, and possible testing, including lung function, blood, and allergy testing.

We will work with you to:

  • Identify what triggers your asthma, including environmental and occupational exposures and allergies.
  • Diagnose and treat co-existing conditions that can make asthma worse, including vocal cord dysfunction, rhinitis, sinusitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • Explore airflow obstruction using comprehensive pulmonary function testing, including bronchoprovocation testing.
  • Test for immune systems markers for asthma through blood tests and exhaled nitric oxide levels (FeNO).

With our personalized approach, we perform ongoing assessments with a step-by-step approach that includes adding new therapies to help get asthma under control and stopping treatments that are no longer needed. We will work with you to teach you about your disease and about the proper way to use the bewildering array of new inhaler devices now available.

What Sets Us Apart?

The physicians in our Mary Parkes Center’s Severe Asthma Program have expertise in the management of difficult and severe refractory asthma. Our team of asthma educators, nurses, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and physicians work together to provide comprehensive care. 

Our experts can offer new approaches to diagnose and treat severe asthma, including FDA-approved biologic therapies (anti-IgE, anti-IL-5 therapy, anti-IL-4-/13, and anti-TSLP) in carefully selected patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma.

As one of six designated World Allergy Organization Centers of Excellence in the U.S., we are dedicated to providing innovative clinical therapies for allergies, asthma, and immune disorders, often working with our team of experts across various disciplines to provide the highest quality care.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

1 location

Mary Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy & Pulmonary Care - Henrietta
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital

Red Creek (Calkins Corporate Park)
400 Red Creek Drive, Suite 110
Rochester, NY 14623

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Clinical Trials

Our team of physician researchers at the UR Medicine Mary Parkes Center are working tirelessly to advance knowledge of lung diseases and therapies. Clinical trials are a great way to contribute to science and access new treatments. We have clinical trials in asthma that range from observational to advanced treatments. If you are interested in participating in clinical trials or learning more about these studies, please reach out to us.

(585) 276-7296

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