A Pulmonary or Respiratory doctor is a physician who specializes in the human respiratory system. This system includes the lungs and the respiratory tract. The pulmonary system is an internist system that also relates directly to the heart, and many heart problems have pulmonary symptoms. Physicians who work in pulmonology are specialists in the same way an OBGYN is a specialist doctor. Therefore, most patients will need a referral to see one. Below are some common terms used in the field of pulmonology.
Trachea – Sometimes called the windpipe, this is the breathing tube in humans that extends from the very back of the throat to the lungs. A small flap called an epiglotis prevents food or water from entering the trachea.
Bronchi – The singular form of bronchus, these are small airway tubes inside the lungs that resemble the branches of a tree. They allows the air a person breathes to be transferred into the lungs.
Emphysema – A internist chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that interferes with a person's breathing ability. Over time, emphysema will get worse. It is primarily caused by exposure to smoking or to air pollution and is a serious medical health problem.
Dyspnea – A word that means shortness of breath, it is the medical condition of breathlessness. Usually the signs of dyspnea are the symptoms are a deeper underlying cause, such as cardiac ischemia, pneumonia or even congestive heart failure. Treatment and medicine depends of the diagnosis of the cause of the dyspnea. It can also occur during pregnancy and some OBGYNs may recommend the pregnant woman sees a pulmonology specialist.
Asthma – A chronic lung disease that cause inflammation of the lung's airways. It is usually treated by using an inhaler medicine such as a corticosteroid.
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Pulmonary and respiratory treatments affect the lungs and related organs in the body. Doctors that work in this area often provide therapy for patients with diseases such as chronic asthma, emphysema, acute upper respiratory infections, and other related problems.
While some doctors focus on the entire system, some choose to specialize in specific types of treatments. One doctor, for instance, might choose to concentrate on upper respiratory diseases while another focuses on lower respiratory diseases. Although they might use similar tests to identify health conditions such as cystic fibrosis, dyspnea, poor circulation, and damaged organs, it is important for specialists to have intimate knowledge with the ways that these medical concerns affect specific parts of the anatomy.
Doctors should use tests to provide each patient with an accurate diagnosis. Without these tests, it would be difficult for them to determine what types of meditations or treatments to use. Tests frequently check for breathing problems that result from inflamed trachea and bronchial tubes. Others will determine whether a patient needs artery treatment to improve circulation.
Depending on where you live, you might have several pulmonary doctors to choose from. You can often determine which ones get good reviews from their doctors by searching for their names online.
If you have health insurance, then you should also contact your insurance provider to determine which doctors and therapies are covered by your policy. This can help you choose a doctor, lung therapy, or medicine that is affordable for you rather than struggling to pay high medical bills for treatments that are not covered.