In some respects, visiting an asthma and allergy office is very similar to visiting almost any other clinic. During office visits, a patient will need to bring proof of insurance as well as any referral letters from their primary physician. Patients will usually fill out a form about themselves and their medical history while they are waiting for their first appointment.
During initial appointments, the allergist or asthma specialist will determine how severe the patient’s symptoms are. If a patient is visiting because of asthma symptoms, then breathing tests will be conducted in order to determine how severe the asthma is and how badly it is affecting the patient. After this assessment, the physician can prescribe medication to the patient that will relieve their asthma symptoms and allow them to participate more fully in everyday life. An inhaler with fast-acting medicine is usually prescribed for the relief of acute symptoms during an asthma attack while an medication containing long-lasting medicine is intended to prevent attacks from occurring. The asthma specialist can show the patient how to use the inhaler properly.
If a patient is visiting the physician’s office because of suspected allergies, then several different tests will be conducted. After reviewing the patient’s medical history, living situation and family history of allergies, the physician may conduct skin tests for a wide range of allergies. This is done by pricking the top layer of skin with different allergens and waiting to see if a red bump develops on the skin.
Once any allergies are identified, the physician can advise the patient on managing their symptoms by taking medication or avoiding environments in which there are allergic triggers. He or she may even prescribe regular allergy shots to reduce or even eliminate the allergic response to the environmental allergens.
Afterwards, regular check ups and office visits can be scheduled for the patient by the asthma and allergy office staff. It is important that patients remember to keep their appointments at the physician’s office as the allergists and staff are often on a tight schedule. In addition, patients can better manage their allergies and asthma if they attend each scheduled check up and are able to work closely and regularly with their doctor.
While the process and paperwork involved with visiting an allergy and asthma clinic does not really differ from any other clinic or medical office, the specialty knowledge and advice offered at these clinics like Asthma and Allergy Associates can vastly improve an asthma or allergy patient’s quality of life.