A pulmonologist is a lung specialist who focuses on the treatment of disease and conditions of the lung and respiratory system.
Pulmonology also includes some sub-specialties such as obstructive lung disease, sleep related breathing disorders, lung transplant specialists, interstitial lung disease, neuromuscular disease, interventional pulmonology and other lung related disorders.
If your doctor has referred you to a pulmonologist, you probably need to be evaluated or treated for a breathing related disorder. If you are about to see a pulmonologist, there are certain questions you might want to ask.
Questions to Ask a Pulmonologist
- What caused my respiratory condition? Sometimes this question is not easy to answer, in other cases, such as COPD caused by smoking or a genetic disorder, the answer may be known and all too clear. Talk to your pulmonologist about contributing factors so you can manage and/or avoid them whenever possible.
- How will my condition or disorder be monitored and treated? Your pulmonologist can tell you how many times you need to see him or her and any tests you can expect. They can also help you mitigate your lung condition whenever possible by partnering with you in your own care.
- What are my treatment options? Your doctor can talk to you about any treatments that may be available, including any research studies that are available.
- How will this lung condition affect my everyday life? Make sure you understand and carefully follow any guidelines about diet, activity levels, and medications.
- What modifications should I make to enable me to breathe better or have a higher quality of life? Your doctor may prescribe rescue inhalers, breathing exercises or treatments, prescription medications, or even portable oxygen to help you manage your breathing condition. He or she may also advise you about any activities that may cause you to experience an asthma attack or breathing issue.
- What are the side effects of the medications you prescribe for my lung condition? Your doctor can talk to you about what medications may be right for you, and advise you about any side effects to be aware of or lookout for.
- What is the prognosis? You need to understand not only what condition you may have, but how it tends to respond. Your lung doctor can draw on years of training and working in the field to help guide your expectations. He or she will also be familiar with other patients who are roughly the same age and health, and can advise you as to likely scenarios and treatment plans.
Remember that you are an active partner in your own care. Good doctors do not mind answering questions because they understand that a well-informed patient not only makes better decisions, but is more likely to have a positive outcome because they comply with their doctor’s directions and care.
To learn more about what pulmonologists do, please call Intercoastal Medical Group today at (941) 362-8662 in Lakewood Ranch or (941) 379-1799 in Sarasota for an appointment with one of our highly qualified, caring pulmonologists. You can also request an appointment online. Intercoastal Medical Group: dedicated to your wellbeing for life.