Allergists, also known as immunologists, are doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of immune system diseases. Allergists can be certified by the Board of Allergy and Immunology in America, which is recognised by the American Board of Medical Specialities.
When would I need an allergist?
You may need an allergist if you suffer from asthma or eczema. You could also need to see an allergist if you experience allergic reactions to food, medicines, insect stings, or environmental agents such as pollen. If you are experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, or wheezing, it is likely that you may suffering from an allergy, so it is advisable that at this point you see an allergist. People of different age groups may need to see a certain type of allergist. For example, small children would need to see a paediatric allergist, who specialise the immune system diseases and reactions of young people. Furthermore, if you believe you are having immune system problems, or your doctor suggests that you may be experiencing such issues, it is advisable that you consult an allergist.
How can an allergist help me?
An allergist, first and foremost, can help you develop a treatment plan for your individual condition, which may take planning, skill and patience to carry out. Such a plan should allow you, eventually, to lead a life that is as symptom-free as possible. Above all, however, an allergist should be able to provide a suitable treatment for the immune system problems, allergies or asthma that you are suffering from.
What should I expect when I see an allergist?
There are certain things that you can expect when you see an allergist. Allergists will normally perform a variety of tests to determine what allergens are involved in your particular allergic reaction. Following this, an allergist will guide you in prevention education, and advise you to avoid the factors that trigger your condition in the first place. If this is not possible, an allergist can, at the very least, help you decrease exposure to allergens. An allergist will also help you by way of giving you the best possible treatment for your allergies or asthma. There are a number of effective medications available to treat both asthma and allergies, and you can expect that your allergist may prescribe you one. Alternatively, your allergist may suggest immunotherapy, or allergy shots, in which patients are given injections every week that get progressively stronger, thus progressively reducing allergy problems over time.