What is Allergy and Immunology?
In the United States an Allergist-Immunologist is a physician specially trained to manage and treat asthma and other allergic diseases. Becoming an Allergist-Immunologist requires completion of at least nine years of training. After completing medical school and graduating with a medical degree, a physician will then undergo three years of training in internal medicine (to become an internist) or pediatrics (to be a pediatrician).
Once physicians have finished training in one of these specialties, they must pass the exam of either the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) or the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Internists or Pediatricians who wish to focus on the sub-specialty of Allergy-Immunology then complete an additional two years of study, called a Fellowship, in an allergy and immunology training program. Allergist-Immunologist whom are listed as ABAI-certified have successfully passed the certifying examination of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology following their fellowship. They then become Board Certified in Adult and Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is an abnormal, acquired sensitivity to a given substance, including pollen, drugs, food, venom or numerous other environmental triggers. An allergy is a local or systemic inflammatory response to allergens. Often times symptoms are swelling of the nasal mucosa, itchy burning eyes, sneezing, wheezing, fullness in the ears and various skin rashes such as hives, or anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction.