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Allergy Specialist Of Knoxville

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What does an Allergist / Immunologist treat?

Allergist / immunologists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma and other diseases of the immune system. Allergists practicing in the United States have completed medical school, at least three years of residency in pediatrics or internal medicine, then at least two years of specialized training in allergy and immunology. To be board certified, they must pass an examination and regularly attend continuing medical education programs in allergy and immunology.

An allergist’s approach is personal. Your allergist typically asks about your medical history, does a physical examination and performs specific allergy and/or breathing tests. The results guide a personalized treatment plan which typically includes measures to avoid or eliminate triggers, recommendations for medications and education to help you take an active role in treating your disease.

Causes of Allergies

Allergies are the result of a chain reaction that starts in the immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself.

Common Allergic Diseases

Allergic rhinitis may be seasonal or year-round. Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) typically occurs in the spring, summer or fall. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffy or runny nose and itching in the nose, eyes or on the roof of the mouth. When the symptoms are year-round, they may be caused by exposure to indoor allergens such as dust mites, indoor molds or pets.

Asthma is an allergic disease that causes frequent episodes of wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness. It is common for people with asthma to also suffer from allergies, so your allergist may conduct thorough allergy and breathing tests to find the causes of your asthma. Studies have shown that care by an allergist can decrease the number of asthma flare-ups and the need for emergency care. You and your allergist can work together to ensure that your asthma is well-managed, so that you can participate in normal activities.

Allergists are helpful in treating recurring sinus and ear infections. People with asthma are more prone to sinus infections (rhinosinusitis) which can, in turn, make the asthma worse. Sinus infections are also common in people with allergic rhinitis. Although young children are expected to have more ear infections, it is important to monitor children with very frequent or severe infections. This is because the most serious immunodeficiencies usually become apparent during the first years of life.

If you have a food allergy, even a tiny amount of the food you’re allergic to may cause a reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction are generally seen on the skin or involve the stomach and intestines. These include swelling, hives, eczema (itchy, red scaly rash), vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping or a stomach ache. Allergy tests performed by an allergist can determine which foods, if any, are triggering the symptoms.

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a skin allergy causing a red, dry, itchy rash on the face, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles. Atopic dermatitis is treatable but not curable.

Urticaria (hives) are red, itchy, swollen areas of the skin that can range in size and appear anywhere on your body and seem to move around.

Angioedema is a swelling of the deeper layers of the skin such as the eyelids, tongue or lips. An allergist can determine which allergic skin condition you have and help you take steps to treat it.

References: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. (2015). Feel Better. Live Better. See an Allergist / Immunologist. Retrieved from: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/feel-better–live-better–see-an-allergist-immunol.aspx