- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Mar 10 2018
Who is a Pulmonologist / Pulmonary Specialist?
A pulmonologist, or pulmonary disease specialist, is a physician who possesses specialized knowledge and skill in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary (lung) conditions and diseases of the chest, particularly pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema, and complicated chest infections.
Pulmonology is classified as an internal medicine subspecialty. Because of the variety of clinical problems encountered, knowledge of internal medicine and other specialties is required in order to obtain certification. Pulmonology often involves taking care of patients who need life support and mechanical ventilation.
Some of the illnesses that fall under the care of a pulmonologist include lung cancer, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea and tuberculosis. The following are some other common conditions that pulmonologists also diagnose and treat:
Asthma - wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing
Bronchitis - Inflammation of the airways, usually caused by infection
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - COPD is a group of lung diseases involving airway inflammation, lung tissue damage, and limited airflow. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the most common forms of COPD.
Chronic Bronchitis - When a patient has had a cough with excessive mucus during most days of the month for at least three months.
Emphysema - Damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs, where the lungs are unable to completely deflate.
Interstitial Lung Disease - (ILD) includes a long list of chronic lung disorders. Breathlessness and a dry cough are common to many of these disorders. ILD is usually a progressive condition.
Occupational Lung Disease - Caused by exposure to irritating or toxic substances in the work environment.
Asbestosis - Progressive scarring of lung tissue caused by exposure to microscopic fibres of asbestos.
Byssinosis (Brown Lung Disease) - Obstruction of the small airways that results in severely impaired lung function. Common cause is dust from hemp, flax and/or cotton processing.
Farmer’s Lung - Allergic reaction caused by exposure to an organism that grows on hay, straw, grains, and other organic materials found on farms.
Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis - Acute or chronic inflammation of the airways caused by exposure to an inhaled allergen, such as mold, bacteria, or fungi.
Silicosis - A lung disease caused by exposure to silica dust in mines, foundries, blasting operations, and stone, clay and glass manufacturing.
Pulmonary Fibrosis - Thickening and scarring of the lungs, specifically in and around the small blood vessels and air sacs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.
Rheumatoid Lung Disease - Rheumatoid arthritis can also damage the lungs, causing inflammation of the lining of the lungs (pleuritis), accumulation of fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion), rheumatoid nodules (small lumps) in the lungs, and scarring of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis).
Sarcoidosis - Granulomas (tiny lumps of immune cells) that can grow and clump together in organs, affecting how these organs function. Sarcoidosis usually starts in the lungs or lymph nodes, but it may eventually affect other organs.
Pulmonologists perform exams and tests to help determine a lung-related diagnosis. These include:
- CT scan
- Chest Fluoroscopy
- Chest Ultrasound
- Pleural Biopsy
- Pulmonary Function Test
- Pulse Oximetry Test
- Sleep Study
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