My daughter is 5 and has moderate asthma going back about 3 years now that is treated with twice daily pulmacort and once daily singular. She does occasionally have some breakthrough wheezing or whistling that we treat with albuterol, but for the most part it is well controlled. Before the addition of the singular about a year or so ago, she was hospitalized every couple of months for extreme asthma flares for a few days at a time. Throughout all this she was managed by our family doctor, and tended to by hospitalists while in the hospital. She was sent for 2 different batteries of allergy tests, all of which were negative-so as far as we have been able to determine, it's not an allergy issue. (Although recently it's been suggested by a friend that a gluten issue could be contributing to her asthma, but I haven't had time to really investigate that yet)
She has never been referred to or seen a pulmonologist, but the allergist she saw for the testing was an asthma specialist-although only potential allergens were addressed at the appointment, she didn't really delve into her asthma issues.
My nephew had 2 asthmatic episodes which required an er visit, and on the second he was referred to a ped. pulmonologist. My daughter has been hospitalized at least half a dozen times, if not more, and not including er visits and never was. When I mentioned a pulmonologist to our family doctor she said that the allergist we previously saw for the allergy testing is an allergy specialist and who she would recommend.
So I suppose my question is this: Is there really a difference between an actual pediatric pulmonologist and an allergist who is also considered an "asthma specialist" that would make seeing a pulmonologist over the allergist worthwhile?