Question: When should I see an asthma specialist to treat my asthma, and do I need a pulmonologist?
Answer: Essentially all patients with asthma should at some point in their medical course see an asthma specialist. An asthma specialist may be someone specially trained in the subspecialty of pulmonary medicine or somebody specially trained in allergy and immunology. But also, many pediatricians and many general internist and many family physicians are well-versed in the management of asthma.
But at some point, particularly if the asthma is proving troublesome, an asthma specialist would be a beneficial person to evaluate the asthma, to look at the treatment plan that's been set forward and to decide if there are modifications.
In addition, when asthma is not responding as expected, it's important to see someone who can differentiate between asthma and things that mimic asthma. The old adage that physician use is, "Not everything that wheezes is asthma." And occasionally, asthma can be misdiagnosised and that is generally best approached by someone who is well-versed in the understanding of asthma.
And in general, I think the two disciplines that spend most of their time and attention on this disorder would be allergists and immunologists and pulmonary specialists. We've learned recently that almost all patients with asthma have a least some potential for an allergic component to their disease. While this is not universal, it's very frequent. So allergy and pulmonary medicine do work together often in the management of asthma.