Finding an Asthma Specialist

Tips For Choosing The Right Asthma Specialist

Finding an Asthma Specialist – Effective tips to guide you

Asthma is a complex respiratory condition that exists in various forms. The disease is usually identified by spastic attacks in the lungs, causing inflammation, swelling, and breathing difficulties. These spasms often happen due to a reaction to an allergy or other types of hypersensitivity.

If you are reading this, the prevailing paragraph is perhaps redundant [but needed]. You may already be familiar with this condition firsthand or through personal experience with a loved one. What you would like to know is how to find the right asthma specialist to help you effectively treat and care for asthma. We’ll be delving into that immediately, but before that, you should probably know your options.

Types of Asthma Specialists and Why You Need Them

Tips For Choosing The Right Asthma Specialist
ASTHMA

If you are among the 25 million people reported to have asthma in the United States, you were probably diagnosed by a physician and advised on managing symptom flares and attacks. However, your primary care provider alone may not be your best bet in the long term, especially if you suffer from more severe asthma and run-of-the-mill corticosteroids are not adequately alleviating your symptoms. 

More often than not, when your case is not responding to primary treatments, you are referred to any of these asthma specialists.

  • Pulmonologist

Pulmonologists are physicians with specialized training in pulmonary medicine. They diagnose, treat, and manage respiratory diseases and disorders. These conditions include asthma and various other respiratory conditions, including bronchitis, lung cancer, sleep apnea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder [COPD].

A pulmonologist often attends to patients with severe or chronic breathing problems. Their added experience in diagnosing and treating a limited range of lung-related illnesses allows them to understand better the impact asthma and other respiratory diseases have on the body system.

If your asthma results from an allergy, you are more likely to benefit from seeing a doctor specializing in treating allergies.

  • Immunologist/Allergist

An immunologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of immune system diseases and disorders. Immunologists are also called allergists because they manage respiratory allergic reactions such as asthma, hay fever, and other environmental, food, and drug-related allergies.

Allergies can be caused by dust, animal matter, or other harmful substances. However, due to a complex in some people, the immune system perceives harmless substances like peanuts and seafood as allergens [allergy causing substances] and launches an attack on the allergen; this is the typical case of many allergic reactions and allergic asthma attacks.

Immunologists recognize the complicated bodily processes that lead to allergic asthma attacks. They can help you identify the nature of your asthma allergy and what substances you are allergic to and advise you on how to avoid them. 

If you have mild or non-allergic asthma, you may not have a lot to gain from seeing an allergist, as they are more specialized in targeting allergy-related illnesses.

  • Respiratory Therapist/ Pulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist

Though not technically a doctor, respiratory therapists are healthcare providers specially educated and trained in dysfunctions of the respiratory system and associated body organs. 

Respiratory therapists manage asthma symptoms by teaching breathing exercises and counseling nutritional habits that will help alleviate asthma attacks.

 Your doctor may recommend this type of therapist after a severe attack to help you recuperate quickly and rehabilitate your respiratory system.

However, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists are not a substitute for asthma specialists like allergists and pulmonologists; they cannot prescribe you medications. Still, they are an often-necessary addition to help quicken recovery and teach effective management exercises and habits.

Choosing The Right Specialist

If you suspect symptoms of asthma, you should first get a diagnosis from your primary healthcare provider before you go on the lookout for an asthma specialist. They can run a series of preliminary tests to confirm if you have asthma. Afterward, you can then pick the type of specialist that best fits your condition.

Before you sign on, however, you should consider these questions

  • Is your specialist board certified? This should perhaps be your most important question. Certification from a reputed medical board assures you the doctor has completed the necessary training and education and that they are an expert in their field.
  • Is your doctor an academic fellow? If so, this might mean they participate in more clinical research trials, and you may gain access to these latest medications.
  • How far is your doctor from you? Your home or office should be located a reasonable distance from your doctor’s hospital in case an emergency arises.
  • Does your doctor have an associate or substitute? This is especially important because you may need someone to care for you should your asthma specialist be absent or on leave.
  • How do they handle emergencies? Can you call in after hours in the event of a crisis?
  • Will your treatment be covered by insurance? If so, what will your out-of-pocket costs be?

Benefits of Consulting with an Asthma Specialist

Because asthma doesn’t fall under one area of medicine, different types of specialists offer varying degrees of advantages to help you manage asthma. Asthma specialists can, however, help you with expert knowledge and experience in these regards:

Keeping Up-to-date on The Newest Asthma Medication

Although your primary healthcare provider can prescribe you asthma medicines, asthma specialists are specially equipped for this as they are constantly in the know of new and experimental asthma medications that other physicians may not be aware of. 

Some medicines used to suppress and control the immune system’s reactions to asthma allergens can only be prescribed by certified specialists.

Identifying Triggers, Assessing Treatments, and Monitoring Developments

An asthma specialist like an allergist can carry out tests to point out allergens such as dust, pollen, mold, and animal dander that cause asthmatic reactions and advise patients on how to avoid them. Having someone to constantly monitor your progress, evaluate therapies, and update your treatment as your condition progresses is also part of the perks of having a versed specialist by your side.

Access to Latest Diagnostic Methods and Equipment

An asthma specialist such as an immunologist or pulmonologist would have the best up-to-date diagnostic tools and equipment used to measure lung health and function that a primary care provider may not. 

These tools can help determine how responsive the lungs are to treatment and can help to predict the long-term outcome of treatments.

Helping You Manage Chronic Asthma

Asthma specialists can help you make the best of your condition. Many asthma patients exclude themselves from normal endeavors like sports and exercise, but sometimes the triggers that bring about asthma flares are unavoidable, and excluding yourself from average activities won’t make them cease automatically. Asthma specialists like pulmonologists and respiratory therapists can help you manage asthma symptoms by prescribing exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes to help you accommodate asthma.

The Bottomline 

Asthma is a manageable condition that should not be allowed to interfere with your physical or social life. Asthma specialists have the knowledge and expertise to help you deal with any asthmatic disease, liberating you to be fully functional in your everyday life.

If you or a close relation have a lingering asthmatic condition, look up Kratz Allergy and Asthma, they are considered one of the best medical centers offering asthma, allergy, and immunological services for children and adults in the Tampa Bay Area and have been serving the Trinity, New Port Rickey , Port Richey, Hudson, Spring Hill and beyond for over 23 years.  

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