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About "Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)"
Pulmonology is the medical field that focuses on the diseases that involve the respiratory system. The organs that help us breath form the respiratory system, which includes the airway, lungs, and respiratory muscles. The doctor who treats the infectious, structural, inflammatory, neoplastic (cancer), and autoimmune diseases of the respiratory system is known as a pulmonologist.
Your general physician might refer you to a pulmonologist if you have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing, blood in cough, unexplained weight loss, shortness of breath, etc. The common conditions that a pulmonologist treat are asthma, bronchitis (inflammation of the airway), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, bronchiectasis, obstructive sleep apnea, and occupational lung disease.
When you first visit a pulmonologist or opt for an online consultation, depending on your symptoms, he/she might ask you to perform a few tests. These tests include an ultrasound of the chest, chest fluoroscopy, pulse oximetry, thoracentesis, bronchoscopy, and pleural biopsy. Depending on the test results, the doctor will know the cause of your symptoms and treat you accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a pulmonologist?
The medical field that deals with diseases that affect the respiratory system, which includes the airway, lungs, and respiratory muscles, is called pulmonology. A physician who specializes in pulmonology and treats infectious, structural, cancer and autoimmune diseases of the respiratory system, is called a pulmonologist.
Why would someone need to consult a pulmonologist?
You should consult a pulmonologist if you are coughing persistently, have difficulty breathing, cough up blood, experiencing unexplained weight loss, and short of breath.
What is the role of a pulmonologist?
Pulmonologist usually treat diseases and conditions affecting your respiratory tract. They diagnose and treat conditions like cold, pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis, occupational lung disease, and obstructive sleep apnea.
What conditions do pulmonologists treat?
The common conditions that pulmonologists treat are asthma, bronchiectasis, bronchitis, pneumonia, cold, pleurisy, emphysema, pulmonary embolism, interstitial lung disease, asbestosis, silicosis, sarcoidosis, and pulmonary fibrosis.
Can a pulmonologist detect lung cancer in a CT scan?
Yes, a CT scan will provide a detailed image of the lung tissue. It will show even a small lesion in the lungs, which might have gone undiagnosed in a lung X-ray.
What are the common early signs of lung disease?
The early signs that indicate a lung problem are a persistent cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing up blood, chest pain, hoarse voice, and weight loss.
When to consult a pulmonologist for a cough?
Consult a pulmonologist:
- If you have a cough for a long time.
- If you are coughing up blood.
- If you cough up a lot of mucus.
- If you are experiencing shortness of breath or chest pain.
- If you are finding it difficult to breathe.
What are the early signs of pulmonary fibrosis?
The early signs and symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are feeling short of breath during exercise, dry cough, shallow and fast breathing, unintentional weight loss, tiredness, joint and muscle pain, and widening of tips of the fingers (clubbing).
What to expect during the first pulmonologist visit?
After taking a complete medical and family history, your doctor will ask about the symptoms that you have been experiencing. Then the pulmonologist will listen to the breathing sounds and perform other physical examinations. If needed, he or she might suggest you get the following tests done:
- Chest ultrasound.
- Pleural biopsy.
- Pulmonary function test.
- Pulse oximetry test.
- CT scan.
- Chest fluoroscopy.
- Sleep study.
Why is a pulmonary function test needed?
A pulmonologist will suggest you get a pulmonary function test, which is a group of tests done to check how well your lungs are working. These tests are done to diagnose conditions like asthma, allergies, bronchitis, lung fibrosis, COPD, lung cancer, sarcoidosis, and lung cancer.