The Role of an Allergist

H. Farhadian, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.A.A.A.I.
Copyright© 2019, H. Farhadian, MD. All rights reserved.

An allergist is a medical doctor who has completed 3 years of residency in pediatrics or internal medicine, then has attended 2-3 years of fellowship in the subspecialty of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. This field of medicine has been growing and improving as one of the major subspecialties. This is due to the need to treat an increasing number of people who are now suffering from allergic diseases and asthma.

According to statistics, in the 1980s, only 5-10% of people were suffering from allergic diseases. However, now reports show 20-25% of individuals are suffering from allergies. Most of these patients are treated by over-the-counter medications (OTC), or see their family physicians. Only 5% are referred to an allergist. These groups of patients have been treated symptomatically by OTC or prescribed medications, which are not effective anymore. When seen by an allergist, these patients all to often seem to be disappointed. Some even believe there is no treatment for relief. Fortunately, this is not correct.

The allergist, after obtaining a detailed history and thorough physical exam, will discuss the results of his findings with the patient. If necessary, he may recommend some blood tests and possibly a series of x-rays. Most of the time allergist may also advise a skin test to find the cause of allergies. These tests may include pollens, such as trees, grass or weed pollens, or environmental allergens, such as dogs, cats, and other pets, as well as household dust mites, and molds. For the patients who are suspected of having food allergy, skin tests for allergenic foods are also available.

When a patient is suspected of having multiple allergies, a comprehensive test, which includes all of the above, will be implemented. These tests are usually performed in the allergist's office. The entire procedure takes 15-30 minutes. After a skin test is completed, results will be discussed with the patient and the allergist will recommend treatment. Depending on the results, treatment may be as short as one to two prescriptions or could be more continuous, including allergy vaccines or immunotherapy.

At our office, all of these services are available. In addition to tests for pollens, environmental, molds, foods and pets, we are also able to test for chemical (make- up, etc), bee sting allergy and drug allergy.

We have extensive experience in the treatment of patients who suffer from chronic sinus headaches, chronic cough and hives.