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Difference in a Pulmonologist and Asthma Dr??
nicatl posted:
Is there a real difference in the 2 drs. I know pulmonologist treat more lung diseases but do they treat asthma just as well as a asthma dr does. It seems i read that pulmo drs do alot more testing. I saw a pulmo dr. about 30yrs ago who actually told me i had twitchy airways. He started me on an ICS and i rarely ever used an inhaler. As years have gone by, i have seen several asthma-allergy drs who didn't test me the same but started me on different things. My pulmo always did chest x-rays, things like that. Plus they can do the spirometer (sp) test where as the asthma dr. just do that test where they test your lung function by blowing real hard 3 times. So, who has benefited in seeing a pulmo dr verses a asthma dr. and do you still see a pulmo dr. instead of a asthma dr. I think a pulmo treats allergies as well. Thanks again for replies.
bresky responded:
Hi Nicatl

I see a pulmoniologist, however I don't have allergy induced asthma. I did see an allergist for allergy testing and everything was negative although I was on high doses of prednisone at the time.
It is different in Canada because unfortunately we can't necessarily choose who we see. When my asthma started getting worse I was initially referred to an internalist who has an interest in respiratory problems however he was not helpful. I was then referred to a pulminologist who worked with me for about 8 months, and she was good at ruling out other types of illness she then referred me to a different pulminologist who specializes in asthma and COPD. Which in my opinion should have been the first place to go.
She has been treating me for a year and a half and has been excellent. She tested for a few more diseases such as vocal cord disfunction and even did a bronchoscopy (look inside your lungs) to make sure they weren't missing anything I do have a very atypical asthma. I was finally diagnosed with severe cough variant non allergic asthma.
So for me an allergist would not be beneficial as I have never had an allergic response, however I found her good at looking at all aspects of different lung diseases and ruling them out. Every time I have an appointment with her which is every 4-6 weeks she does spirometery and a full chest assessment, and we talk about different treatment options. She is very knowledgable however she has an interest in asthma so I think that might help somewhat.
It might depend on what you prefer but I know she looked at the allergy side of things but I don't react to most allergens.
Let me know what you decide
amcate responded:
You might want to make contact at least once with each one.

I was referred to an allergist by the first family practice guy. I couldn't afford it, so went to the student health clinic. Then, when I could afford it, I self referred to an allergist. The reason I self referred to an allergist is because I had mold growing out of my walls from a flood, and I reasoned that if I was allergic then there would be inflammation, and corticosteroid reduce inflammation, so I asked the student health clinic to increase corticosteroids until the mold could get cleaned up, and he told I was fine though I was losing consciousness for 5 minutes at a time, so I self referred to an allergist on an emergency type basis.

The allergists were very good at allergy testing and the shots-they even found out they could induce an attack with me with the shots. They also offer the IgE blocker drug-Zolair? They go into a lot of detail on avoiding allergic triggers. They don't really rule out other pulmonary conditions, though.

So, I've just started seeing a pulmonology clinic to rule out other pulmonary conditions. They said any asthma was being treated very well by review of medicines and how I told them I control triggers. They are in the process of doing the tests. I'll see how it goes and take it from there.
amcate responded:
Sorry-I reread what you wrote and forget my first sentence-obviously you have seen both. My mistake.

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