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Asthma Specialist

Cornerstone Pediatrics, PLLC

General Pediatrics & Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics located in Clarksville, TN

Asthma in children is common, affecting 8.4% of kids in the United States. If your child suffers from wheezing, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath associated with asthma, pediatrician Gary Griffieth, MD, and his team at Cornerstone Pediatrics, PLLC, in Clarksville, Tennessee, can help. They test for asthma and develop personalized asthma treatment plans that best suit your child’s needs so they can breathe clearly. Schedule an appointment with Cornerstone Pediatrics, PLLC, by phone or online to learn more.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a health condition that causes swelling in your child’s airways, narrowing them and making it difficult to breathe. Specific triggers, such as allergens or physical activity, can cause asthma symptoms. 

While there’s no cure for asthma, Dr. Griffieth and his team can help your child manage their symptoms using prevention strategies and noninvasive treatments.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

If your child has asthma, they may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms of the disease:

  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

Asthma attacks or worsening symptoms can occur during exercise or with respiratory viruses like colds or flu. Asthma symptoms might be mild or severe and even life-threatening if left untreated.

What are the risk factors for asthma?

The cause of asthma isn’t entirely clear but likely results from combinations of genetic and environmental factors. Asthma risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Being overweight
  • Having allergies
  • Exposure to occupational chemicals or pollution
  • Having a blood relative with asthma

If your child has asthma, symptom triggers might include certain allergens, respiratory infections, cold air, physical activity, smoke, some medications, gastroesophageal reflux disease, food preservatives, or stress.

How is asthma diagnosed?

To diagnose asthma and establish the best treatment for your child, Dr. Griffieth and his pediatric team review their medical history and symptoms.

They complete a physical exam to rule out medical problems that can affect breathing. Dr. Griffieth and the team at Cornerstone Pediatrics, PLLC, use lung function tests, including spirometry tests that measure how much air your child exhales after a deep breath. Peak flow tests measure how forcefully your child can breathe out.

Dr. Griffieth may also recommend additional asthma tests, allergy testing, or imaging tests to establish the cause of breathing problems and develop a personalized treatment plan for your child.

What is the treatment for asthma?

Depending on how severe your child’s asthma is, Dr. Griffieth and his team may recommend one or more of the following asthma treatments:

Lifestyle changes

Making certain lifestyle changes can reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Examples include breathing exercises, a healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding asthma triggers. Keep pet dander levels low, avoid smoke, change air filters regularly, and prevent mold in your home.

Natural remedies

Herbal and other natural remedies may help improve your child’s breathing. Dr. Griffieth and his team let you know which dietary supplements, if any, are right for your child.


Taking certain medications can help your child breathe easier when they have asthma. Dr. Griffieth might suggest oral medicines, inhalers, or allergy medications or shots.

Don’t let your child’s asthma go untreated when it be dangerous and can negatively impact physical performance and quality of life. Schedule an appointment with Cornerstone Pediatrics, PLLC, by phone or online today.