Allergist located in Valencia, CA


An estimated 25 million children and adults in the United States are impacted by asthma. Maricar Cutillar-Garcia, MD, uses the latest innovations in pulmonary function testing to identify the triggers of your asthma attacks at her self-named practice in Valencia, California. She customizes your care plans to reduce the frequency and severity of your asthma symptoms. To learn more about your options for managing asthma, call the practice today or schedule an appointment online. 

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your breathing. When you are exposed to an allergen or engage in physical activity, the bronchial tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs become inflamed and narrowed, and your body begins producing excess mucus.

These reactions make it difficult to breathe. During an asthma attack, you may also experience symptoms like:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

For some, symptoms of asthma are minor. However, if you have severe asthma symptoms, an attack makes it increasingly difficult to get the oxygen you need and can result in serious health complications, including loss of consciousness and premature death.

What causes asthma?

Asthma attacks may be the result of a combination of your genetics and your environment. If you have existing allergies, asthma may be a side effect of exposure to an allergen, such as:

  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Certain foods or medicines

For some with asthma, symptoms may occur when you’re exposed to cold air, physical activity, or strong emotions or stress. If you have an underlying condition known as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), a condition where stomach acids flow back up into your esophagus, it can trigger an asthma attack.

How is asthma diagnosed?

During your evaluation for asthma, Dr. Cutillar-Garcia will review your personal and family medical history, take time to listen to your symptoms, and assess lifestyle factors that may contribute to the frequency of asthma attacks.

She also offers on-site pulmonary function tests to confirm that your symptoms relate to asthma and not another medical condition. Pulmonary function tests measure how much and how fast you can move air in and out of your lungs.

If allergies may be the root cause of your asthma, she may also recommend skin patch tests or blood work to understand your allergy triggers better.

How is asthma treated?

Treatment plans for asthma depend on the cause of your symptoms and their severity. For those with allergy-triggered asthma, Dr. Cutillar-Garcia works with you on a plan to avoid your allergy and asthma triggers. The goal of treatment is to lessen the impact of allergens on your immune system to prevent future asthma attacks.

You may also need short-acting, inhaled medications to treat symptoms of an asthma attack, or long-acting medications that prevent inflammation in your throat. Dr. Cutillar-Garcia can determine which medications are right for you and help you outline an emergency treatment plan for sudden allergy attacks.

If you or your child experience frequent breathing difficulties and need an asthma evaluation, schedule an appointment at the practice today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.