Your home physician or pediatrician might be the one to diagnose your asthma case. But, at times, you need to seek out an asthma specialist like an allergist, a pulmonologist, or a respiratory therapist for a myriad of reasons.
Most importantly these specialist focus their entire practices on asthma and the conditions related to it. Therefore, it is simply impossible for a primary care physician who deals with several health issues daily to diagnose every nuisance in every aspect of medicine.
When do you need to seek a specialist?
Asthma is quite a complete health condition that comes in multiple forms. Some of the instances where you need to consult with a specialist are listed below:
- You are having a life-threatening asthma attack that requires intensive care at a hospital
- If your asthma attack is triggered by an allergen
- Despite the allergy shots and introducing oral shots, the asthmatic condition is worsening
- Having a moderate to the severe persistent asthmatic condition due to hereditary reasons
- Your body’s failing the conventional medication for asthma
- If the asthma is induced by exercise, occupational, or cough variant
You can also consult with an asthma specialist if you need in-depth education for understanding your condition.
Keep in mind –
Overlapping health conditions can also complicate your asthmatic condition, where you require the assistance of a specialist.
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Allergic rhinitis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
That being said, take a look at some of the questions that you must ask before choosing a specialist in asthma.
Make sure to ask these questions!
Here are some of the samples –
- Ask about the doctor’s experience, training, and educational background
- Ask whether the doctor is board certified
- Blatantly ask whether he has any bad reputation previously of malpractice
- Check whether the specialist has any insurance
- Try to understand the doctor’s philosophy and his method of delivering care
- What kind of medical records does he keep? Is it physical or electronic?
- Has the asthma specialist ever participated in clinical research trials?
- Ask about his availability in case of emergencies
Considering the pandemic scenario, you might have to show up for online doctor consultations. Hence, you must not forget to ask about his accustom with the telemedicine practices.
Apart from these, you might need the help of a specialist if –
- The symptoms are still persistent even after months of treatment or your body is deteriorating
- You need to be admitted at least 3-4 times at ICU for asthma
- You are having extreme side effects like, growth suppression (in the case of infants & children), developed oral thrush, and osteoporosis
- Sudden weight gain combined with emotional changes and frequent mood alterations
Things to consider before visiting an asthma doctor
To make a final decision, whether the specialist is right for you consider the following pointers:
- Knows the latest asthma medication. For instance, drugs such as mepolizumab or omalizumab are generally administered by specialists only.
- Has access to all the class-latest diagnostic equipment. This way, a specialist can diagnose your case of asthma and undertake suitable treatment for a speedy recovery.
- Is up-to-date with the latest advances in asthmatic care, prevention, and treatment. Moreover, an asthma specialist can diagnose and treat cases of chronic sinusitis.
- The asthma specialist must work with you (whole-heartedly) to treat your condition; not just responding to your flares
Finally, if you’re in urgent need of an asthma doctor and are nowhere near any clinic – making an appointment for a telemedicine facility. A specialist will be able to diagnose your lungs & heart with a digital stethoscope and examine the nose & ears using a digital otoscope.
Whatever it might be, DO NOT delay in seeking immediate medical attention!