More than 50 million people of all ages suffer from allergy-related health issues, including allergies, hay fever, and asthma. While it is only natural to want to seek out allergy treatment to restore your health as fast as possible, it can feel even more discouraging when the professional you choose botches your treatment. Depending on an inexperienced allergist is a sure way to feeling worse and having to start all over again.
Read on to learn what to look for to pick the right allergy doctor who will treat you successfully so you can feel better.
Match Your Allergist to Your Allergies
As Healthgrades points out, choosing an allergist is a very personal decision.
But first and foremost, it needs to be a precise medical decision that matches your allergies (or at least the symptoms as best you understand them) to the professional who specializes in that type of allergy or symptoms.
For example, if your symptoms seem to be consistently triggered after eating certain foods, you may have a food allergy. You would want to select a professional with the right background and training to diagnose and successfully treat food allergies.
Seasonal or pet allergies
However, if your symptoms seem to arise most consistently during certain times of the year, or after you have spent time outdoors or when you are around animals, these symptoms point to a different type of allergy specialist and a different diagnostic and testing process.
Sinus disorders represent an especially complex field of allergy medicine. Often the symptoms are chronic year-round and can impact every aspect of daily life, including the quality of sleep you get.
Sinus symptoms can be especially uncomfortable, ranging from ongoing congestion and headaches to earaches, mental fogginess, and lethargy. The underlying cause may be equally complex and include allergic triggers, structural polyps or blockages, and even genetic conditions.
For this type of complex case, you would want to seek out a sinus disorders specialist in ENT (ear-nose-throat) allergy medicine.
Rebounding After a Botched Sinus Treatment
It can be incredibly disheartening to undergo allergy and sinus treatment only to have the treatment fail. Yet, according to allergy doctor Ran Y. Rubinstein, it happens every day.
The field of allergy and sinus medicine is advancing rapidly, requiring an ongoing commitment to continuing education and training to incorporate the latest technologies to allergy testing and treatment.
However, it isn’t enough to select an allergist with the right credentials and education. This is because there is simply no substitute for hands-on experience treating patients with chronic, complex allergies.
It is true your new allergist may have to work a bit harder to earn your trust and confidence, but you can make that process easier by choosing an allergy and sinus specialist who has many years of patient experience treating the most complex cases successfully.
General Allergy Doctor Versus Otolaryngology Allergy Doctor
According to Everyday Health, if you have ongoing health issues that seem to target your ear, nose, and throat, it may not be sufficient to see a general allergy doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Instead, you may need to see an otolaryngologist allergy specialist that exclusively treats the ear-nose-throat (ENT). This type of specialist will have the education, training, and expertise necessary to effectively treat sinus disorders, allergic disorders, and ear-nose-throat disorders.
Whereas a general allergy doctor may be able to administer tests to identify possible food, environment, and other allergies, a generalist will not have the extra training and education to dig deeper and look for sleep disorders, airway blockages, autoimmune conditions and similar less-obvious causes for chronic allergy symptoms.
What to Look for When Choosing Your Allergy Doctor
Knowing what to look for when selecting the right allergy and sinus doctor is key to making a successful choice. You want to get it right this time and using this criterion can help you do just that!
- Always choose a board-certified sinus specialist – board certification is an extra optional step that provides extra assurance of expertise.
- Be sure the specialist is trained in otolaryngology, rhinology and/or laryngology, depending on your specific symptoms.
- Verify that the majority of the practice is focused on complex allergy disorders and sinus disorders.
- Research independent patient satisfaction surveys on third-party websites (not just on the doctor’s own website).
- Research the specialist online and make sure there are no outstanding complaints or issues of concern that pop up.
With these criteria in mind, you can narrow down your search to identify the best allergy doctor for your needs.
What to Expect at Your Appointment with Dr. Rubinstein
Your initial consultation is the time when you meet with Dr. Rubinstein one-to-one to discuss your symptoms and treatment to date and identify a plan to successfully resolve your sinus allergy issues.
Dr. Rubinstein will want to do a thorough examination of your ear, nose and throat region. He may want to do X-rays and other tests as well to identify any structural problems inside your sinuses.
It will be important to share your personal and family medical history, including current medications, lifestyle limitations and the overall impact of your symptoms on your quality of life.
From here, Dr. Rubinstein will answer any questions you have, discuss your treatment options and a timeline to get you feeling better as fast as possible.
About Hudson Valley Sinus Center
Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein is the founder and medical director of the Hudson Valley Sinus Center. Dr. Rubinstein is double board-certified in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and facial plastic surgery.
Dr. Rubinstein is a leading facial surgeon and ENT (ear-nose-throat) sinus specialist with advanced education, training and expertise to diagnose and treat the most complex and confounding clinical cases.