We all know the feeling of being winded or short of breath. It can happen when you exercise, play a pickup basketball game with your kids or friends, or even jog up a flight of stairs.
But if you experience breathing issues that cause light-headedness or dizziness, it can be a sign of something much more serious. If you are having any sort of breathing issues, consult with a pulmonologist or your primary care physician as soon as possible.
Below are some facts about pulmonology and its special role in the field of medicine.
What Is a Pulmonologist?
A pulmonologist is a specialized doctor who focuses on your respiratory health. The respiratory system consists of three major parts that help you breathe: the airways, the lungs, and the respiratory muscles.
There are a number of conditions and diseases that affect the respiratory system in adults and children. A pulmonologist is trained to diagnose and treat these conditions.
Some of the most common diagnoses in this field are infections, inflammation, and even cancer.
These specialists can also treat structural issues, autoimmune issues, and certain conditions regarding the heart. Pulmonologists can treat everything from asthma to tuberculosis.
How Can a Pulmonologist Help Me?
Any issues with trouble breathing are important to be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible. If you visit your primary care physician first, they may send you to a pulmonologist to get an expert diagnosis and focused treatment.
Below are some of the most common reasons to see a pulmonologist:
1. Breathing Problems
Difficulty breathing is uncomfortable, exhausting, and can be a sign of a serious issue in the respiratory system. Consulting a pulmonologist may help to reveal or prevent a serious health problem.
2. Chronic Cough
If your cough lasts more than 3 weeks, it’s considered a chronic cough. This can signal that a significant health problem exists, and it may need to be addressed with medication or surgery.
The most common cause of severe, chronic cough is an acute respiratory infection. Excessive coughing can be painful and irritating, and it can permanently affect certain parts of your respiratory system – such as your vocal cords (larynx) – which is why medical attention is vital.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a difficulty in breathing due to abnormalities in the lung. Extreme inflammation can lead to these abnormalities, causing permanent airflow obstruction. Most people with COPD start with chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
While asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, it can also affect adults. This condition occurs when the bronchial tubes in the lungs react to irritants and become inflamed.
Symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. If it’s not treated quickly, a severe asthma attack can lead to respiratory failure or even death.
5. Lung Cancer
When cells divide too much and too fast, a tumor will form. Lung cancer is when a tumor forms in the lungs.
If the tumor is contained and does not spread (metastasize) to other tissues or organs, it is considered benign and is carefully monitored. A tumor becomes malignant if it spreads to other tissues or organs.
Pulmonologists in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL
If you or someone you love has been having trouble breathing or exhibits any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible. A pulmonologist can help provide a treatment plan for any of these issues listed above.
Call our friendly and experienced staff at Intercoastal Medical Group to schedule an appointment at any of our locations across Sarasota County and Manatee County (Bradenton). You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to taking care of you and helping you thrive!