It sometimes can be difficult to determine whether you have a cold or an allergy because many of the symptoms are so similar. However, with a cold, your symptoms and discomfort will usually go away within seven to ten days. But when symptoms continue to linger, it could be a pretty sure bet that you have some type of allergy. And when that happens, it might be time to see an allergist.
Why an Allergist and Not Your Primary Physician?
You might be wondering why you should go to an allergist instead of your primary physician. Primary physicians treat all types of ailments, but usually do not have the specialized training in any specific area of medicine. An allergist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of:
- Diseases of the immune system
In the United States, allergists are required to complete:
- Medical school
- Three or more years of residency in internal medicine or pediatrics
- Two or more years of specialization in allergy and immunology
To become a board certified allergist, the doctor must pass a certification test and participate in continuing education programs for allergy and immunology.
A More Personalized Approach
The allergist will review your medical history and give you a physical examination. You will receive allergy and/or breathing tests. Your results will help the doctor develop a personalized treatment plan for your allergy or asthma issues. This treatment plan usually includes:
- Strategies for avoiding or eliminating the triggers for your allergies
- Recommendations for what type of medications will relief your allergy symptoms
- Educating you on how to take an active part in controlling your allergies or asthma
- Options to become less allergic (immunotherapy), resulting in fewer symptoms and less medication use.
When you need an allergist in the Sioux Falls area, Dakota Allergy & Asthma is ready to help. To find a board certified allergist near you, visit the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.