What is an Allergist?

An allergist/immunologist is a medical doctor with specialty training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases, asthma and diseases of the immune system.

Most allergies are life-long, so an allergist will generally work with a patient on an ongoing basis to manage his or her condition. If new advances- like new medication, treatments, or testing- offer benefits to a patient, an allergist will likely adjust the patient's treatment.

Extensive education is needed to become an allergist. In addition to completing medical school, an allergist needs:
1. Three years of training in internal medicine or pediatrics and pass the exam of either the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) or the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).
2. An additional two years of study in an allergy / immunology training program.

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When should someone see an allergist?

An allergist treats the following conditions:
1. Allergies
2. Asthma
3. Eczema
4. Hives
5. Immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases
6. Sinusitis
7. Anaphylaxis

Different kinds of allergies

There are many types of allergies:
1. Allergies to foods - nut, milk, egg, wheat, gluten, chocolate, shellfish, sulfite, food dyes, etc.
2. Allergies to animals- dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.
3. Allergies to medicines- penicillin, sulfa medicines, vaccines, etc.
4. Allergies to stinging insects - bees, hornets, fire ants, etc.
5. Seasonal allergies/hay fever
6. Pollen allergies
7. Tree allergies
8. Mold allergies
9. Latex allergies

Useful tool to check out: Pollen & Mold Level Map (Source: The American Academy of Allery Asthma & Immunology)

Learn more about allergies & allergists:

What is allergy testing?
What are allergies?
What is asthma?

An allergist is also known as an immunologist, or an allergist & immunologist.