It’s no surprise that the Houston metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing regions in America. Wide-open spaces, favorable business conditions, and a lack of harsh winters are attracting people and corporations alike. Of course, even these plentiful opportunities come with conditions. The geography of Greater Houston provides a unique set of challenges for environmental allergy sufferers. Early springs and long summers combined with the dense vegetation around the Bayou City means longer and harder pollen seasons than other areas experience. The expressways that ring Houston carry some of the heaviest traffic in America, and the ensuing automobile exhaust can trigger asthma attacks in many Houstonians and East Texans. On top of all that, Houston’s high humidity makes the region a comfortable breeding ground for mold, whose spores are perhaps one of the most common triggers of hay fever.
Whether you’re new to the region or a lifelong resident of Houston whose allergies have gotten out of hand, you may need more insight and expertise to treat your emerging condition than simply picking up over-the-counter medication. Here’s how to find a professional Houston allergist who can help you resolve these symptoms.
Referral From Your Primary Care Provider
Most people arrive at their allergists after their primary care provider makes a recommendation. This usually occurs when allergies prove too persistent or idiopathic for general physicians to treat. However, relationships between primary care providers and their preferred allergists may not necessarily be the best fit for you.
Word of Mouth
If your primary care provider doesn’t give you a referral or the referral they give you doesn’t work out for you, don’t be afraid to ask around. Ask friends, relatives, and co-workers in the area what their experiences have been in treating their allergies and whether they have an allergist they would recommend. Don’t be afraid to do your own research as well.
Check With Your Insurer
There’s no easy way around it—American healthcare is highly dependent on the relationships between insurance companies and healthcare providers. As important as ascertaining your allergist’s experience, expertise, and bedside manner are, minimizing out-of-pocket expenses is a virtual necessity. Cross-check allergists’ practices with your insurance plan to see whether you’re covered.
Look for the Letters “AAAAI”
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology is a professional organization whose mission is to further advance knowledge and patient care in immunological practice. Narrowing your search to practices that feature a fellow of the AAAAI will help you find a professional Houston allergist with the requisite expertise to treat your condition.
Dr. Enrique T. Quintero, M.D., FAAAAI, leads Allergy & ENT Associates, Greater Houston’s most extensive practice of allergists, otolaryngologists, and audiologists, giving our Houston allergists one of the most valuable imprimaturs in medicine. If your allergies have been compromising your quality of life near Houston, schedule an appointment with us today.