Richard Merkler, MD, FAAP, treats asthma in children at his Midtown West in Manhattan, New York City practice. With over 20 years of experience in pediatric medicine, including childhood asthma and allergies, Dr. Merkler applies his extensive knowledge to diagnose and effectively treat each patient.
Asthma is a pulmonary disease that causes inflammation in the lungs’ airways. During an attack, acute inflammation narrows the airways until exchanging air is difficult, resulting in wheezing, coughing, and distress.
The triggers are different in everyone, but what all asthma sufferers have in common is that their airways are very sensitive to triggers. Common triggers include tobacco smoke, pollution, perfume, cleaning products, allergens, cold or dry weather, stress, physical exertion, medications, infections, and sulfites.
Half of all asthma cases exist in children, and 2 times as many boys have asthma than girls. It is 10 times more common in developed countries than in undeveloped countries. Risk factors include:
The most common symptoms associated with asthma include shortness of breath, pain or tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing while sleeping or trying to sleep, wheezing while exhaling, and fits of coughing. For some patients, asthma symptoms worsen at night, during or after exercise, or during certain seasons.
Asthma can be life-threatening. Patients experiencing a severe asthma attack should seek emergency medical treatment through the nearest emergency room. Patients who are unable to breathe, who have found no relief after using their inhaler, or who are struggling to breathe without physical exertion should go directly to the emergency room.
Asthma is treated in 3 ways:
Dr. Merkler also works with patients and parents to develop an asthma action plan, which dictates when and how much medication to take depending on symptoms. This ensures the patient receives only the amount of medication they need when they need it.
We accept the majority of health insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see yours listed or have any other questions.
"My children have been seeing Dr. Merkler for 4 yrs now. He have an easy going attitude, speaks softly, and the office decor makes my kids feel comfortable"
"Warm, caring, patient, calm are all words that describe Dr. Merkler. We love our pediatrician. His gentle manner put me at ease as a new mother"
"Dr. Merkler is the best doctor I have ever encountered in our life. He is accurate, prompt, kind, compassionate and also very thorough"
"I love Dr. Merkler! He's so nice, so attentive, doesn't make you feel like he's rushing through your appointment, and answers questions thoroughly."
"Lovely, soft-spoken pediatrician who takes time to talk to you and your child. Old-fashioned in the best possible sense."
"Dr. Merkler has special qualities - focus combined with caring and amazing communication ability. He is everything a doctor should be!!!"