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Ask the Allergist

Ask the Allergist

When should I take my child to an allergist vs. a pulmonologist?

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Question
My child is being treated for exercise-induced asthma by his pediatrician. He is still struggling to breathe during exercise and we'd like to see a specialist. He has never experienced asthma until this past January when he had the flu. What is the difference between an Allergist and a Pulmonologist? Which is a better place to start?
Answer

Both allergists/immunologists and pulmonologists treat asthma. A pulmonologist treats all lung disorders. An allergist treats allergic conditions. Allergic conditions include food, drug, and environmental allergies. Hives, swelling, and immunodeficiency may occur. A large number of children with asthma have allergic triggers. They may benefit from seeing an allergist.

Categories
Asthma, Diagnosis
Answered by

Douglas T. Johnston, DO, FAAAAI, FACAAI, is an allergist/clinical immunologist at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Assistant Professor at Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is a fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). He has lectured at national and international medical conferences and has publications in several medical journals, including “Clinical Immunology,” “World Allergy Organization Journal,” “Journal of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology,” “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” and the “New England Journal of Medicine.”

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