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What is Asthma?

Asthma is caused by inflammation (swelling) in your lungs. It can occur at any time to anyone. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. It can be mild and require only occasional therapy or more persistent requiring daily medications.

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Our Approach

UR Medicine offers comprehensive care for patients suffering from all forms of asthma. Our team includes internationally recognized asthma experts who emphasize personalized approaches to diagnosis and management. Many people with asthma also have allergies.  Our providers are also experts in allergic diseases and can provide evaluation and treatment for you allergies as well.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

Your first visit will include a detailed medical history and physical exam. Your doctor may also order tests that could include blood work, lung function tests and allergy testing. 

We will work with you to:

  • Evaluate the severity of your asthma
  • Identify specific asthma triggers, including environmental and occupational exposures and allergies
  • Identify and treat conditions that can make asthma worse such as acid reflux, sinus congestion and post nasal drip
  • Develop a treatment plan and teach you about your medications and how to use them
  • Teach you about asthma and develop an individual asthma action plan


Medications are used to keep your asthma under control from day to day as well as help you breathe better during an asthma attack. If allergies are contributing to your asthma, they will need to be treated and we can help you manage them as well.  You will also learn how to avoid your triggers and monitor your asthma. 


There are many medications that work in different ways to control your asthma. Some are inhaled, some you take orally and others have to be administered at your doctor’s office as an injection into the skin or a vein. 

  • Bronchodilators: Medications like albuterol quickly open up your airways to help you breathe more easily. These medications are not used to control your asthma, but they are used during asthma exacerbations (attacks).
  • Corticosteroids: These medication decrease inflammation and are taken by inhaling them into the lungs.  Examples include beclomethasone and fluticasone.
  • Anticholinergics:  The airways can be narrowed in asthma. Anticholinergic medications help relax muscles that cause the narrowing. They are taken by inhaling them into the lungs. Ipratropium bromide is an example.
  • Leukotriene Inhibitors: Leukotrienes are molecules (substance) in your body that can lead to the narrowing of airways in asthma.  Medicines which block leukotrienes help the airways open.  These medications are taken orally and montelukast is an example.
  • Biologics:  Biologics are medications that decrease inflammation by interacting with your immune system.  These medications are given by injection at your doctor’s office. Examples include mepolizumab, resilizumab, omalizumab and tezepelumab.

Lifestyle Management

  • Asthma Action Plan: Our team will help you create your asthma action plan.  This plan will help you monitor your symptoms at home and manage your medications to control them.
  • Trigger Avoidance: Things in your environment can trigger your asthma.  Our team will help you understand what your triggers are and teach you how to reduce or avoid them. Trigger avoidance is an important part of your treatment plan. 
  • Smoking Cessation: Smoking makes symptoms worse for people with asthma. At UR Medicine our team of physicians, nurse practitioners and lifestyle counselors can help you develop a plan to quit. Learn more about the UR Medicine Stop Smoking Program.

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What Sets Us Apart

Center of Excellence

The University of Rochester of Medical Center has been designated a World Allergy Organization (WAO) center of excellence. According to the World Allergy Organization, “the University of Rochester WAO Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology Center of Excellence is a multidisciplinary group dedicated to providing excellence in patient care, basic and clinical research, innovations in health care delivery, and both professional and patient education.”

Comprehensive Care for Both Asthma and Allergies

People with asthma may also have allergies.  UR Medicine Allergist/Immunologists can evaluate and treat both your asthma and your allergies, providing you coordinated, comprehensive care for both.

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Our Providers

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UR Medicine Allergy/Immunology Locations

Phone: (585) 486-0930
Fax: (585) 340-5399

Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
125 Lattimore Road, Suite G-110
Rochester, NY 14620
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Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
99 Canal Landing Blvd—Suite 7
Rochester, NY 14626
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Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
Mary Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy and Pulmonary Care
400 Red Creek Drive, Suite 220
Rochester, NY 14623
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Brockport – Strong West
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
156 West Avenue, 3rd Floor
Brockport, NY 14420
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Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
7995 Call Parkway, Suite 100
Batavia NY 14020
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Part of FF Thompson Hospital
Thompson Professional Building
395 West Street, Suite 007
Canandaigua, NY 14424
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Patient Education and Support

If you have questions about your illness or medications, ask your doctor. You may also find these websites helpful.


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