Pulmonology is a specialty of medicine that focuses on respiratory health. It aims to diagnose, treat, and prevent medical conditions that affect the lungs and respiratory tract. Pulmonologists undergo the same training as internists, but they are also specially trained to focus on pulmonology, which includes critical care and sleep medicine.
Although pulmonologists specialize in respiratory health, they can also broaden their specialization to focus on certain illnesses like pulmonary fibrosis and asthma. They can also choose to focus on pediatric care.
Currently, there are more than 25 million people in the United States suffering from asthma. Pulmonary specialists aim to promote respiratory health through the prevention, detection, and treatment of respiratory conditions.
What is a Pulmonologist?
A pulmonologist is an internal medicine doctor that specializes in different medical conditions that affect the respiratory system. The respiratory system includes the organs that aid in breathing. There are three major parts in the system, including the airway, the lungs, and the respiratory muscles. Pulmonologists can help treat and diagnose respiratory disorders that are structural, inflammatory, neoplastic, infectious, or autoimmune.
There are some medical conditions of the respiratory system that affect other bodily systems. Therefore, pulmonologists often work with other doctors to ensure patients get the best care possible. There are a variety of medical conditions pulmonary specialist treat. Examples include:
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by chest tightness, periodic wheezing, shortness of breathing, and coughing. Asthma attacks usually happen when the airway becomes inflamed, causing a restriction in the airflow to the lungs.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a group of lung diseases that involve lung tissue damage and airway inflammation. Two of the most common forms of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In cases of COPD, the airway tubes are slightly obstructed, which makes it difficult to breathe.
Pulmonary fibrosis usually happens when there is thickening and scarring in the lungs which leads to a decline in the ability of the lungs to take in oxygen.
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by granulomas, which affect how organs function. Granulomas are tiny lumps of immune cells that grow in organs and usually form in the lungs and lymph nodes.
There are a plethora of other conditions commonly diagnosed and treated by pulmonologists. Examples include pneumonia, tuberculosis, and emphysema. A good rule of thumb when determining if you need to see a pulmonologist or another type of doctor is asking yourself if your condition or symptom has to do with the respiratory system. If the answer is yes, your best bet is to see a pulmonologist.
If you have been suffering from respiratory symptoms or are having difficulty breathing, it is best to consult with a pulmonologist immediately. Respiratory conditions can worsen over time if they are left untreated. This can make them more complicated and difficult to treat.
Pulmonologists in Sarasota & Bradenton, Florida
If you are looking for pulmonology care, trust the experts at Intercoastal Medical Group. We provide high-quality for all types of conditions.
Call us at (941) 379-1799 and schedule an appointment today. You can also request an appointment online.