Pulmonologist - Respiratory System Specialist

A pulmonologist is a physician who specializes in respiratory system problems. It diagnoses lung related problems and windpipes. You can refer to a pulmonologist in case of any problem related to the respiratory system.


History of Pulmonology

Pulmonology is important in the field of medicine. Earlier it wasn't a separate field. Later with time, in the 1950s it became a separate field of specialization. The Greek physician Galen discovered that for blood circulation, breathing is essential. Circa in 1543 found the first artificial respiration and discovered how to perform a tracheotomy.

In 1774, Joseph Priestley and Willhelm Scheele discovered oxygen. Today, the role of oxygen is a vital part of respiration. Do you know where it first came from? Antoine Lavoisier first discovered it. In the 1800s, mechanical ventilator and iron lung was first discovered. The American Thoracic Society was found in 1904. It focused on the study and prevention of tuberculosis. In 1963, the first lung transplantation was performed. In 1990, researchers conducted research to know how mechanical ventilation can lead to organ failure. Research is still going on prevention and management of ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome).


Process of being Pulmonologist

Pulmonologists first work as an internist, a physician who specializes in internal medicine. They need to pursue a degree as an internist and complete an internal medicine residency. Then they focus solely on pulmonology, specializes in it. Pulmonology also includes critical care and sleep medicines. After clearing the specialty exam they are called Board Certified Pulmonologist. After getting authorization, they are able to take patients.

Pulmonologists further may do specialization in asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and COPD. A pulmonologist works sometimes with a cardiologist. As many lungs and heart symptoms are the same, they diagnose patients together.


Disorder cases

Here are many pulmonary disorders faced by different people of the world. You should be aware that you are suffering from pulmonary disease and not heart disease.


- Asthma

Asthma is a disease in which the lung faces disorders. In this windpipe gets swollen, and the airways become narrow. The symptoms you can see in the case of asthma are, wheezing, coughing, shortage of breath.


- COPD

COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is not only one disease. In this several lung diseases harm your lungs and you face breathing problems. Bronchitis and emphysema are the most faced problems in COPD. Patients face problems while breathing. They have to take shorter breaths. Fingernails turn blue and continuous coughing is also noticed. Weight loss is among the most common symptoms.


- TB

TB is a transmittable disease. It can spread with the sneeze or coughing of patients. When a patient is suffering from tuberculosis, their chest aches. Fever and lethargic body is also noticed. Coughing, difficulty in breathing, and sweating is also found.


- Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic is genetic. It damages the building blocks which makes digestive juices, produces mucus, and sweat. Different people have different symptoms. Lung infection is mostly found in cystic patients. Continuous coughing is also one of the symptoms.


- Lung Cancer

This is one of the most dangerous diseases. In this lungs create. abnormal cells and form tumors. Patients with lung cancer suffer from severe chest pains.

It is hard to distinguish the disease without a checkup. This arises the need for visiting a good pulmonologist for diagnosis. It is important to consult a pulmonologist on time.

Different diseases have different treatments. After the full checkup doctor decides the treatment.


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Treatments

The best care and treatment are required for the optimal cure of the disease. It is important that the right treatment at the right time takes place. Delaying the treatment can have serious consequences. Following are some of the treatments done by the doctors.


- Lifestyle Changes

In diseases like asthma and COPD, the doctor suggests a lifestyle change. Changing your lifestyle to some extent can reduce the symptoms. It can also help in rejuvenating the immune system. Doctors advise you to quit smoking and drinking as it has a hazardous impact on the lungs. He might also suggest you practice yoga and breathing exercises. In most cases, doctors ask to avoid eating and drinking cold and hot foods. Eating healthy is the necessary medicine for every treatment.


- Medications

Medications are important for controlling the diseases and not letting it grow. It is also important for curing them. Doctors treat some diseases like asthma, with the help of drugs. Mostly, in the case of asthma, doctors prescribe inhalers. If the attacks rise, a novolizer is also given.


- Pulmonary Rehabilitation

It is a program conducted in the lungs hospital. In these sessions doctors aware patients of lung diseases, their causes. They also tell them the lifestyles they should adapt to deal with them. Besides medicine, this rehabilitation also plays an important role. It is like therapy for the patients.


- Surgery

In cases of some serious lung, disorder the doctor might suggest surgery. Most diseases like COPD or cystic fibrosis need surgery. Patients have to go through a lung transplant for successful treatment.


When to see a Pulmonologist

Pulmonologist deals with serious and chronic breathing problems. If there is an illness that affects the lungs, you should visit a pulmonologist. In the case of respiratory diseases, pulmonologists use several steps for diagnosis. Spirometry, bloodwork, chest-X-rays, CT scan, bronchoscopies, and sleep studies are first conducted. After the reports the pulmonologist makes a treatment plan. After conveying the details to the patient surgery takes place. A pulmonologist does not perform surgeries, he refers to a specialized surgeon for the surgery. Pulmonologists rather do therapies, give medications, and also provide pulmonary rehabilitation.

You need not visit a pulmonologist for a simple cough or cold. But if the cough continues for longer than three weeks, or if it becomes worse you should go to see a pulmonologist. But before visiting a pulmonologist, you should always first consult your primary doctor. In case of chest pain or tightness, you should visit a pulmonologist. Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting are also symptoms that require a consultant of a pulmonologist.

Also, if you are facing difficulty while breathing when you are exercising.

Other symptoms which require consultant of pulmonologist are:

Fatigue, wheezing and uncontrolled asthma attacks.


How to find a Pulmonologist?


Contact your family doctor

Finding a good and professional pulmonologist is important. The respiratory system is one of the most important parts of our body. For finding a good pulmonologist you should always ask your primary doctor first. Your primary doctor or family doctor is aware of your health problem and medicating you for it for a long time. The primary doctor is aware of all the allergies you have and might have. They would be a good person to contact first hand. Because they work in the same field, so they are aware of the good doctors. They might also have collaborated with the pulmonologist. Thus, they can suggest a good pulmonologist for your treatment.


Health Insurance Company database

A health insurance company has an online database for its customers. Few doctors are in contract with these companies. They have a list of good and selected doctors. You can go to the website, and search for the databases. You can type words like "Pulmonologist", "respiratory doctor". Make a list of doctors from that database.

Google search one by one the list of doctors. You can also search for the reviews of each doctor online. After reading the reviews thoroughly select a good doctor for you. And, you are ready to book the appointment.


Conclusion

A pulmonologist is a physician who specializes in respiratory system problems. Pulmonology is important in the field of medicine. Earlier it wasn't a separate field. Later with time, in the 1950s it became a separate field of specialization.

Research is still going on prevention and management of ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome).

Pulmonologists first work as an internist, a physician who specializes in internal medicine. They need to pursue a degree as an internist and complete an internal medicine residency. Then they focus solely on pulmonology, specializes in it. You need not visit a pulmonologist for a simple cough or cold. But if the cough continues for longer than three weeks, or if it becomes worse you should go to see a pulmonologist. For finding a good pulmonologist you should always ask your primary doctor first. A health insurance company has an online database for its customers. Few doctors are in contract with these companies. They too have a list of good and selected doctors.

Lung diseases can worsen with time. Immediate care is important for the proper functioning of the lungs. If you are seeing any symptoms of respiratory problems, immediately consult your doctor.