How to Choose an Asthma Specialist

By

Catherine Spader, RN

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senior man in doctor's office using inhaler

If you have asthma, you’ll want to find an asthma specialist who has the skills and experience to help prevent and treat your asthma symptoms. There are many types of doctors who care for people with asthma. You may not have to look any further than your own primary care doctor or your child’s pediatrician. Read on for some simple tips to help you choose the right asthma specialist for you.

Who Treats Asthma?

The first step to choosing an asthma specialist is to learn about the kinds of doctors who treat people with asthma:

  • Allergists are either pediatricians or internists who have extra training in caring for people with allergies, asthma, and other conditions of the immune system.

  • Internists are skilled in treating many diseases that affect adults.

  • Pediatricians specialize in caring for children and teens with a variety of health needs.

  • Otolaryngologists, often called ear, nose, and throat specialists (ENTs), care for conditions of the ears, nose, sinuses, throat, and respiratory system.

  • Pulmonologists are internists or pediatricians who have extra training to care for people with lung and other diseases of the respiratory tract.

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation therapists are either registered nurses (RNs) or certified respiratory therapists (CRTs) who have extra education and training in pulmonary rehabilitation. This program helps you live the fullest, most active life with asthma. It includes management, education, emotional support, exercise, breathing retraining, and nutritional counseling.

Your primary care physician, who may practice in family medicine or internal medicine, is also trained to diagnose and treat asthma. Contact your doctor to ask him or her how often they treat asthma, and if they are aware of the latest asthma treatment advances.

Getting a diagnosis of asthma can be scary and intimidating. But with a little understanding and the right treatment plan, you can learn to control your asthma and keep it from slowing you down.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Jan 19, 2016

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