How to Choose an Allergy Physician
Have Allergies? Need an Allergist?
Do you suffer from colds that are unusually long? Do you experience sneezing, congestion, & itchy eyes during spring and fall? Have you recently bought a body lotion that if you use gives you a rash? Does your child break out in hives following eating certain foods? Have you gotten an insect bite that developed swelling? Does your child sneeze often when around pets? Do you wake up in the morning with an extremely stuffy nose?
Answering YES to any of these questions, and others asked by your primary care physician is a warning that you or your child may suffer from allergies. 50% of most Americans test positive for at least one allergen and it’s important to know what you’re allergic to in order to avoid triggers and reactions. Sometimes allergic reactions don’t cause these reactions that concern you. For instance, some rashes are first thought to result from an allergic reaction, but may not be related to allergies at all. Testing by an allergist can confirm or rule out an allergic reaction so you know what is ailing you and can treat your condition properly. Another cause of a skin rash or hives is often stress. In Charlotte and surrounding areas, the Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center is often the place doctors send patients needing allergy testing and allergy care as their first choice.
So, What is an Allergy?
An allergy is how a person responds to a stimulus that most people have no reaction to such as pollen or cats. When a person has allergies, they have a reaction to the allergen (stimulus) with symptoms such as sneezing, itchy watering eyes, or break out in a rash. Health care providers call this an allergic reaction. Some allergic reactions can be dangerous so understanding and managing allergies is essential.
I’d Like To See an Allergist…What Should I Consider When Choosing an Allergist?
Not all allergists are equal. Ask the following questions before selecting an allergy doctor:
- Where did you get training in allergy and asthma treatment?
- How long have you been in practice as an allergist?
- Do you have certification by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology?
At the Carolina Asthma and Allergy, all of our providers are board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. The final decision on selecting an allergy provider is a personal decision. The following are some more tips for choosing an allergist.
More Tips on Choosing an Allergist
In addition to board certification, education, and experience check out these other important factors too.
- It makes sense to want to be sure your visit to an allergist you plan on seeing is part of your insurance company’s roster of participating doctors. Call your insurance company, or check their provider directory. It is also a good idea to get a referral from your primary care doctor – perhaps she or he can look at the list of allergists that work with your insurance and refer you to one of them.
- Since it is important that you are comfortable with your allergist, gender may be important. If so, let your referring doctor know that you have a gender preference.
- Ask around and check online. You may have friends who have great experience with an allergist and are happy to share. Patients also often comment online and rate doctors just as they do other businesses. While other patients’ experiences aren’t necessarily the same as your may be, a bunch of positive comments and ratings for a doctor may be someone worth considering.
The Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center has been serving patients in the Charlotte area since 1952. We have ten office locations so we are certain there is an office near you. We accept many insurances and all 13 of our doctors have experience and are board certified allergists. Call for an appointment today at 704.372.7900 or use our online contact form.