An immunologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats diseases associated with an over-functioning, decreased or abnormal function of the immune system.
Immunology is a science that studies the reactions of the human body to a wide variety of antigens, clarifies the mechanisms of their origin and transmission, the course of various immune pathologies, and develops prevention methods aimed at combating them.
Immunology is developing rapidly due to constant mutations of pathological microorganisms and the need to provide adequate assistance to the human immune system. In addition, immunology is directly involved in the development of inoculations and vaccines.
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- What is an immunologist?
- What does an immunologist do?
- What diseases does an immunologist treat?
- When should you see an immunologist?
- What diagnostic methods does an immunologist use?
- Why are there problems with immunity
- Make an appointment with an immunologist
What is an immunologist?
The specificity of the work of an immunologist is to provide assistance to patients with problems in the functioning of the immune system. The doctor is engaged in the identification, control of the development and influence on the body of various diseases, develops specific therapeutic schemes and preventive measures, based on the characteristics of the problem.
The work of immunologists includes monitoring the timely introduction of vaccines among the population. An immunologist is a doctor in great demand in the modern world, since, in addition to all of the above, he deals with the treatment of people suffering from allergies and immunodeficiency states.
Read more: Causes, symptoms and treatment of allergies
What does an immunologist do?
Immunologists are not just medical practitioners in clinics.
They are also active in scientific research in various research centers, because immunology is a branch of medicine that has many daughter branches, including:
General immunology, which deals with the study of immunity at the cellular and molecular level, the importance of immune mechanisms in the individual development of a person.
- Immunopathology, which is the field of its activity is the study, development and implementation of therapeutic techniques for people who already have problems with the immune system.
- Immunology is infectious. This industry studies the body's immune response in response to infectious agents entering it.
- Immunochemistry deals with the study of immunity at the chemical level.
- Non-infectious immunology, respectively, studies the response of the body's immune system to non-infectious antigens.
- Allergological immunology, is engaged in the study of allergic diseases and their relationship with the human immune system.
Transplant immunology, which deals with the study of human immunity in the framework of organ transplantation from donors.
- Radiation immunology. The priority direction of this field of science is the restoration of the functioning of the immune system after radiation therapy.
- Embryonymmunology. This industry studies the immune incompatibility of a woman and a child she is carrying.
What diseases does an immunologist treat?
- Rhinitis and conjunctivitis, arising as a response to the ingestion of pollen from plants: herbs, trees, flowers. Such diseases are seasonal.
- Rhinitis and conjunctivitis are year-round, that is, those that are an allergic reaction to house dust, animal hair, etc.
- Bronchial asthma.
- Urticaria in acute and recurrent form.
- Quincke's edema.
Allergic reaction to exposure to cold.
- Itching with a chronic course.
- Allergies are food, medicinal, insect bites, contact.
- All types of neurodermatitis: seborrheic, atopic, eczema of the extremities.
- Chronic cough of unexplained etiology.
- Bacterial and viral infections occurring more often than 6 times a year.
- Regularly recurrent pustular lesions of the skin - barley, boils, pyoderma, acne, etc.
- Chronic obstructive bronchitis.
- All chronic and recurrent infections of the respiratory tract and ENT organs: otitis media, rhinitis, sinusitis.
- Herpetic infection prone to relapse.
The development of secondary immunodeficiency against a background of a chronic disease: with hepatitis, psoriasis, papillomatosis, etc.
- Feverish conditions with unknown etiology.
- Lymphadenitis and lymphadenopathy, the causes of which are not clear.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome.
When should you see an immunologist?
It is necessary to visit a specialist in the case when there is a deterioration in the condition, and the reasons explaining this fact have not been found. It is possible that another doctor will independently refer the patient to a consultation with an immunologist.
The patient himself should be alerted by the following conditions of the body:
The body temperature is kept at subfebrile levels for a long time (from 3 to 7 days), and there is no explanation for this fact.
- A person suffers from a chronic feeling of fatigue, he gets tired quickly, even after a short mental or physical activity.
- There are problems with sleep like insomnia or, on the contrary, persistent drowsiness pursues.
- The body and joints feel aches.
- Colds are often recurrent and lingering.
- Recurrent fact of herpes infection.
- Purulent infections of the mouth and nasopharynx.
- Disorders in the digestive tract.
- A blood test indicates inflammation.
- Frequent recurrence of any disease.
- Lack of susceptibility of the body to treatment - antiviral, antibacterial, antimycotic.
What diagnostic methods does an immunologist use?
Conducting a comprehensive study of the immune and interferon status.
- Execution of skin tests: scarification and prick test. Allergens can be very diverse - food, household, epidermal and others.
- Collection of scrapings from the skin of the ear canal, from the tongue and tonsils for further cytological examination and detection of fungal microorganisms.
- In case of contact dermatitis of an allergic nature, an allergy test is carried out, which makes it possible to determine the presence of sensitivity to one of the types of allergens, of which there are more than 40.
- Performing a bacteriological culture of blood for its sterility, in addition, the culture can be taken from the skin, pharynx, ear, abscesses, etc. In this case, the pathogen and its sensitivity to a specific type of drug are detected.
Performing PCR diagnostics and serological studies, which allow you to accurately determine the subtype of the virus, bacteria or other pathogen.
- On various panels of allergens, specific lgE is detected, which requires a blood serum sampling. Definition of common lgE.
- Performing a test of inhibition of the natural emigration of leukocytes in the oral cavity with various drugs: NSAIDs, antibacterial drugs. Local anesthetics and sulfonamides. In addition, application, scarification, intradermal and oral tests can be performed with topical antiseptics.
- Computer spirometry, which allows you to study the external respiratory function with samples.
The passage of certain diagnostic techniques allows you to more accurately diagnose and prescribe the necessary treatment. In addition, the doctor may recommend that the patient undergo an ultrasound, ECG, CT or MRI. Sometimes you need to consult another doctor, for example, a dermatologist, allergist, ophthalmologist, otolaryngologist, etc.
Why Immunity Problems Occur and How to Avoid Them
Immune system disorders are often a consequence of modern lifestyle. Affected by an unfavorable environmental situation, physical inactivity, stay in dusty, gas-polluted, unventilated rooms. Therefore, immunity needs support. (Read also: causes, symptoms and ways to raise a reduced immunity)
However, you should not rely on any specific remedy, taking which you will be able to get rid of problems with the immune system. Medicines exist, but a doctor must prescribe them. Only he, on the basis of the diagnostics carried out, will be able to choose the appropriate immunomodulator, recommend its dosage and determine the duration of the therapeutic course.
Unreasonable intake of immunomodulators can provoke autoimmune diseases and further exacerbate existing problems. Therefore, self-medication in this case is unacceptable.
If the immune disorders are insignificant, then it is enough to exclude unfavorable factors of influence and take medications with microelements, vitamins and antioxidants in the composition. However, only a specialist can make a conclusion about the real state of the immune system.
Make an appointment with an immunologist
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