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What Specialist Should I See For Reactive Airway Disease?

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I was recently told I had Reactive Airway Disease (RAD) by my doctor. I’m looking for a specialist to continue my care with, but I’m not finding mention of RAD anywhere. What type of specialist should I see?

Reactive Airway Disease is a general, non-specific term. It can refer to other, less well-defined conditions. The terms “reactive airways” and “reactive airways disease” can be used to describe conditions that are like asthma but may not be. They do not identify a specific respiratory disease or establish a clear diagnosis. They are commonly used in the pediatric setting but also used in adult patients.

In infants and children, wheezing is a common symptom. Only about a third of those affected patients ever develop asthma. Some physicians use the term "reactive airways" to refer to this group. This is instead of labeling patients who are wheezing with and asthma diagnosis since they may not develop asthma. Asthma is a form of reactive airway disease.

Allergy and asthma specialists or pulmonologists would be best to consult about the issue. They have the necessary expertise to establish a diagnosis and manage your symptoms.

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John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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