Did you know that 50 million Americans suffer from allergies? That’s approximately 1 in 5 people. Over 50% of people test positive to at least one or more types of allergens. Thousands of people die each year due to allergic reactions. Allergies are a chronic problem that deserves specialized care. When allergies start to interfere with daily life, it’s time to schedule an appointment with an allergist.
An allergist is a physician that specializes in allergic and immune system diseases, disorders, and ailments. Allergies results in asthma, rhinitis (hay fever), contact dermatitis, sinus infections, chronic colds, bronchitis, eczema, sneezing, hives, congestion, wheezing, fevers, and even anaphylaxis. Millions of people are affected by allergies and need the specialized help of an allergist to keep their allergic reactions under control.
An allergy develops when the body’s immune system overreacts and defends against common substances called allergens. This hypersensitivity to allergens can be uncomfortable or even deadly. Allergens include things like pollen, mold, dust, peanuts, pet dander, medicines, food, plants, insect stings, latex, and other things. When someone with an allergy is exposed to these allergens, the results can vary and the allergic symptoms can occur anywhere on the body – nose, eyes, stomach, sinuses, lungs, throat, or skin.
For many people, allergies flare up seasonally or perennially. Usually they are predictable and can be handled with over the counter medicines. When a person is unexpectedly exposed to an allergen or has a severe reaction, it can be scary and even deadly. Allergies, including asthma, are the fifth most common health problem in adults and the third most common chronic disease for children. No one is immune to allergies. They develop slowly over time and can affect anyone. This creates a multi-billion dollar industry – making allergists very in demand.
Allergists help patients to diagnose their allergies. They look at the patient’s history, family history, environments, symptoms, and other factors. They perform allergy tests to identify allergy triggers. Then they help the patient to develop a treatment plan that treats, manages, and prevents the allergy from being a major issue.
The allergist does this by prescribing medications, administrating immunotherapy shots, and educating the patient about prevention. Managing and treating allergies is an on-going process that requires patient care and an individual focus to ensure the correct treatments are prescribed.
Allergists are highly trained medical professionals. They put in years of study before they can practice. To become an allergist, you must earn a 4 year bachelor degree, a 4 year medical degree, complete a 3 year residency in internal medicine or pediatrics, and finally complete a 2 to 3 year study or fellowship in allergy and immunology.
Finally, the American Board of Allergy and Immunology must certify an allergist. Some states also require special licenses. Once certified, an allergist can find work with a medical practice specializing in allergies and immunology. Some allergists choose to be self-employed. As a practicing physician, an allergist meets and works with patients during normal business hours to help diagnose and treat their internal health issues.
After devoting 13 to 14 years of your life to learning about allergies and immune system disorders, and earning a professional certification, an allergist will make between $100,000 to $250,000 per year. The average allergist makes $228,622 per year. Not a bad annual income!
If you have ever been plagued by allergies, you know the true value of a talented, focused, and dedicated allergist. Do you want to help eliminate annoying discomforts, prevent untimely deaths, and allow chronic allergy sufferers to live a normal life? Then you should become an allergist.
Quick Facts About Allergists
Job Title: Allergist aka Immunologist
Office: Doctor’s Office
Description: Treat, manage, and prevent allergies>
Certifications/Education: ABAI Certification, Doctorate Degree
Necessary Skills: Patient care, Bedside manner, Allergy education
Potential Employers: Medical Practices
Pay: $100,000 to $250,000 per year