What is a Pulmonary Doctor?
A pulmonary doctor is a specialist who focuses on treating health issues affecting the lungs. Pulmonary doctors are internal medicine specialists who have augmented their medical training with further work specific to pulmonology. Due to the additional time and effort involved in this qualification, they tend to be highly experienced.
Most people only see a pulmonary doctor on rare occasion – when they have symptoms that may be related to a lung issue. However, it is essential to set an appointment or get a referral to a doctor if you suspect your lungs are not working the way they should. Your lungs affect every other system of your body, including your heart and brain.
When Should You See a Pulmonary Doctor?
A patient often experiences pulmonary complications suddenly, without any clear reason why the problem has arisen. Pulmonary issues can become serious quickly, so it’s a good idea to seek an appointment with a pulmonary specialist as soon as you can. A few issues pulmonologists treat include:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic complex of several major lung issues. It mainly consists of chronic bronchitis – characterized by increase in mucous and inflammation affecting the lungs – and emphysema, which can destroy the air spaces in the lungs. Sufferers of COPD may experience a wide range of symptoms depending upon specific issues they are facing. All facets of COPD are characterized by shortness of breath that may occur at any time, often worsening during physical activity. Coughing, wheezing, and tightness of the chest are frequently reported by COPD patients.
COPD produces progressive, irreversible lung damage. With an appropriate COPD diagnosis early on, it is possible to seek treatments that mitigate the damage and increase your quality of life over time. Several COPD medications have become available over the years.
Asthma is caused by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs. These are passages that lead into the lungs and gradually become smaller as they flow toward lung tissue. Bronchi must function efficiently in order to deliver oxygen throughout the lung tissue. During asthma, these airways become constricted and may fill with mucus. Asthma is often caused by food or seasonal allergies. It can also be associated with other disorders or even anxiety. Treatment can alleviate symptoms and asthma itself may dissipate with time.
Cancer is a life-threatening disorder in which some cells begin to grow out of control. It leads to the development of cancerous growths somewhere in the body. Given enough time, cancer can spread through the body and emerge in other areas. All forms of cancer have their own specific symptoms. Lung cancer typically presents first as dull or sharp pain in the chest or ribs. Pain may worsen when breathing and peak when breathing deeply. Be alert to shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough – dry, with phlegm, or with blood.
Cystic fibrosis is a rare but serious chronic condition that can be life-threatening. It is genetic and the signs are often present very early in life. During cystic fibrosis, the body produces extremely thick mucus that can block off critical pathways in the pancreas, intestines, and bronchi. This chronic condition is associated with persistent lung infections and progressive damage to the lungs. Although cystic fibrosis symptoms can be severe, it is possible to manage them for many years. A pulmonary doctor can help you select the right treatment options for you.
If you suspect a lung problem, an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential. To get started, contact MXBowen, Physician P.C. Health & Breathing Center.