Choosing the Right Allergy Specialist
Living with allergies can be a struggle, to put it mildly. Ensuring that you’re treating it and managing the symptoms effectively requires the help of a good ear, nose and throat doctor. Finding the right allergy specialist (also known as an otolaryngologist) is crucial.
But how do you make sure you have the right allergy specialist on your side? Here, we’re going to look at a few methods to narrow down your search and a few tips to make sure that you’re a good fit with your ear, nose and throat doctor.
The difference between your primary doctor and your allergy specialist
Your primary care physician is the regular professional you visit for most health questions and concerns. They can diagnose and provide some allergy care, but if your symptoms are particularly bad or difficult to control, they may recommend an allergy specialist or refer you to one.
An allergy specialist is an ear, nose and throat doctor who has spent at least two years receiving extra training in diagnosing asthma and allergies, as well as immunology. To be certified as an allergy specialist, you have to pass an exam from the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.
Ask those in the know
If you don’t know where to start looking, then asking others can be a big help. First of all, your health insurance provider or health maintenance organization may have a list of recommended or approved allergy specialists that they can quickly refer you to. Your regular doctor is also likely to have a reputable allergy specialist that they regularly refer patients to, so don’t be afraid to ask them.
If you have friends or family members with allergies, they may have their own allergy specialist that they can tell you about. Lastly, search engines such as Google can help you quickly find an ear, nose and throat doctor that specializes in helping patients with allergies. If you are using the internet, just make sure that you scrutinize what you see very closely. There are plenty of good allergy specialists online, but it takes some care to find the right one.
Before you visit them
Once you find an allergy specialist near you, you may be compelled to get in touch as soon as possible to help relieve your symptoms, but it’s wise to exercise a little caution and perform a few checks first. You want to make sure that they are qualified and a good fit for you.
Ensuring that they have training in allergy and immunology is essential. You may be more comfortable with someone who has more experience in treating patients with allergies, so ask them how long they have been doing that. A certification from the American Board of Allergy and Immunology should part of their resume, as well.
Other questions can help you determine whether or not you like their approach to treating allergies, too. How much of a role do they believe that the patient and allergen avoidance have to play in controlling allergies and what is their opinion of immunotherapy? If you know what kind of treatment you would like, these questions can help you identify whether or not they are the ones to provide it.
Arrange your first visit
The initial visit may not end with any recommendations of treatment, but it does give you an opportunity to see what kind of doctor your allergy specialist is. Here are a few things you should make note of during that visit:
- Were you comfortable with their manners, how much attention they gave you and did you feel like you were treated with respect?
- Did they examine you properly and take your medical history and family medical history?
- Did they perform a physical exam, did they examine your ears, nose, throat, eyes and mouth?
- Did they ensure that you understood your condition and the different treatment options available to you?
- Did they speak in a way you understood or did you have trouble keeping up with them?
- Do you feel you were provided with the information you need to make an informed choice?
If you felt like the answer to any of the questions above is “no,” then you may wish to look for a different allergy specialist. Being comfortable with your choice of specialist and confident in their ability to treat you is crucial to the doctor-patient relationship.
Find an allergy specialist today at Baton Rouge Ear, Nose & Throat Associates
If you're looking for an allergy specialist, you can start by getting in touch with Baton Rouge Ear, Nose & Throat Associates at (225) 769-2222. Feel free to take a look around the site and, if you believe we can help you, make an appointment today.