Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

We’ll take particular care to identify - and help you avoid - situations that may lead to an asthma attack.

Several Penn State Health specialists have extensive experience treating patients with asthma. Timothy Craig, DO, an award-winning physician and teacher, is part of two multicenter asthma study groups funded by the NHLBI of the National Institutes of Health.

Asthma falls into two categories: allergic (caused by an allergen, such as pollen or food) and non-allergic. We use a variety of diagnostic techniques to determine if a patient has either type of asthma. These include:

  • Allergy testing for food, bee stings, drugs, and aeroallergens
  • Arterial blood gas test, which measures the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body(usually only done for severe asthma attacks)
  • Lung function tests to determine how well your lungs are working
  • Chest x-ray to rule out other causes of your asthma symptoms


You and your doctor will work as a team to manage your asthma. Your treatment plan will focus on controlling airway swelling and avoiding asthma triggers so that you can enjoy everyday activities to the fullest.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Long-term medicine, such as steroids or oral medication, for moderate to severe asthma. They should be taken daily to control symptoms.
  • Quick-relief medicine, such as oral corticosteroids or short-acting inhaled bronchodilators, for flare-ups or severe attacks.
  • Home care, which includes identifying symptoms, avoiding asthma triggers, and taking your peak flow reading.

Your doctor may also create an asthma action plan, a written document of instructions for managing your asthma.


Treatment for allergies involves interdisciplinary care from several departments, including:


Penn State Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Groups, Classes & Support

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other parents and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about support groups offered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Research & Clinical Trials

Our active research center offers opportunities more commonly seen in large cities. We typically have four ongoing clinical asthma studies.

To learn more about our clinical trials, please contact us at 717-531-6886.

To see all clinical trials and learn how to volunteer, visit StudyFinder.

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook

Please visit our Health Information Library for more information.

We can help

To schedule an appointment, please call