Who can help me with my hayfever?
GP (General Practitioner)
The healthcare professional most often utilised in the treatment of hayfever is the local doctor or GP (general practitioner) who as a result of their training (and multiple years of experience with local patients, symptoms, diagnoses and recent medication developments) and the level of effectiveness of treatment with the local population, is also the best all round option for you to commence your fight against hayfever.
Before you visit the doctor’s office you should have prepared a complete list of the symptoms you are suffering from and their frequency, severity and time of first commencement.
There is a one-minute free online hayfever assessment tool available as part of this website that may assist you in this regard.
The doctor will also benefit from knowing your past medical history in relation to allergies and hayfever, even as far back as your childhood if you have such information.
Depending on the diagnoses, your GP will be able to advice the appropriate course of action and if required provide a referral to a specialist (ENT, Allergist/Immunologist, Pulmonologist).
Ear Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)
Your GP doctor may refer you to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist (ENT) to further evaluate your symptoms.
An ENT, also called an otolaryngologists, is a medical specialist who is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the head and neck, including particularly the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, and throat.
Care of the nasal cavity and sinuses, known as Rhinology, is one of the primary skills of the ENT specialist and they are experienced in the management of allergies.
ALLERGIST / IMMUNOLOGIST
Severe hayfever sufferers are sometimes referred to allergists or immunologists by their doctor to better ascertain/confirm the type of pollen and/or food substances causing your symptoms.
The most discernible difference between the two is that the allergist is likely to attempt treatment of the patient’s environment and lifestyle relevant to the specific allergy, whereas the immunologist is likely to have strong, active research capabilities and the ability to clinically analyse the interaction between cells, chemicals and genes in the individual’s body.
If you have severe or perennial (year-round) hayfever, the allergist is probably your next port of call in your quest to beat the disease.
If you have additional complications or considerations in relation to your immune system, and immunologist may become involved at some point via a clinic or hospital.
Also known as a Respiratory Physician, Respirologist or ‘chest doctor’, these doctors are best utilised when you have a lung condition, chest issues, or respiratory disease or challenge.
They are also by their mustering capable of some degree of critical care, and how best to ensure apt respiratory function and breathing. A very specialised doctor whom you are only likely to probably meet if your doctor or another specialists consider it warranted.
Sometimes also a primary care physician, a paediatrician specialises in the vastly different bodies of babies, young children and adolescents up to and including the late teens.
Paediatricians are also knowledgeable in how to ‘treat the family’ not just the child, as they are required to understand and advise on the care arrangements, dynamic and contexts within with the child is individually and societally immersed.
If a child has any special conditions, requirements or associated difficulties, a paediatrician could be just what the doctor ordered.
Pharmacists are reachable and open to assist and have considerable knowledge about how the person has to be treated and healed in their everyday life.
You can often glean highly valuable insights from a pharmacist about how and why you should take your medication, how to include and organise it into your daily life, and how to assess and re-assess yourself in relation to the possible experiencing of side-effects.
The more knowledge you can share with a pharmacist the better, as they have seen a great number of people of particular physical construction, orientation and context. So often your friendly local pharmacist has that key pearl of wisdom you’re looking for. Don’t be a stranger.
Pharmacy assistants work under the guidance of the pharmacist and are very willing and able to help, discuss, and will almost always have valuable knowledge on local hayfever and how to approach over-the-counter medication and natural remedies.
Aromatherapy, although unsupported by clinical evidence of any rigour, is considered to be capable of providing some therapeutic benefits in some cases.
An aromatherapist uses mainly essential oils which are ingested almost always with the use of nearby aerial diffusion, and occasionally with the use of direct inhalation or topical application onto the skin.
Often the best way to connect with a reputable aromatherapist is through recommendation from a doctor, friend or colleague, and of course most countries have one or more nation associations that may assist you with your search.
Even if you feel you’ve done your research and are ready to formulate your own essential oil treatment, it is best to consult a trained aromatherapist in relation to dosage and method of application.
Nutritionist / Dietician
A nutritionist / dietician will be able to advise you on how best to reduce potential allergies via changes to your diet and lifestyle.