An allergist (allergist/immunologist) is a doctor who diagnoses and treats allergies, asthma and immunologic conditions. In addition to medical school and residency, allergists have two to three years of special training in allergy and immunology. Allergists can help you manage your allergies or asthma and avoid serious reactions.
An allergist (allergist/immunologist) is a doctor who specializes in certain conditions that affect your immune system. Your immune system is made up of special cells, organs and tissues that fight off disease. Types of immune system disorders an allergist treats include:
A pediatric allergist diagnoses and treats allergies, asthma and immune disorders in infants, children and teens.
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“Allergist” is usually short for an allergist/immunologist who focuses on treating allergies and asthma and who may also treat immune disorders. An immunologist is also an allergist/immunologist, but usually one who specializes in treating immune disorders or medical research on the immune system.
An allergist diagnoses and treats problems with your immune system. An allergist can:
Some conditions allergists commonly treat include:
You might see an allergist to:
You should see an allergist, or ask your primary care physician if they recommend seeing an allergist, if:
Depending on what kind of allergy they’re looking for, an allergist might use one or more types of tests, including:
In addition to allergy testing, your allergist appointment may also include:
To become an allergist in the U.S., you must first complete medical school and a three-year residency in either internal medicine or pediatrics. This includes passing the exam for either the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Board of Pediatrics. You then have to complete two to three more years of study in allergy and immunology. Finally, you have to pass an exam to become certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Allergies, asthma and immune conditions can affect your daily life and cause serious reactions. An allergist can help you identify allergy or asthma triggers, prescribe treatments to help your symptoms and suggest lifestyle changes to avoid triggers. They can help you understand and manage your condition so it doesn’t disrupt your life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/18/2022.
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