Pulmonary Medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions affecting the lungs. It is also referred to as “pulmonology” and the practitioners who specialize in it are called pulmonologists. To become a pulmonologist, a doctor needs to undergo at least two years of highly competitive and intensive fellowship training following their residency.
What Do Pulmonologists Treat?
A pulmonologist treats all diseases of the lungs. Examples of common lung conditions include:
- Asthma – a chronic respiratory condition that includes chest tightness and shortness of breath due to inflammation of the airways that causes them to narrow.
- Bronchitis – inflammation of the airways caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Bronchitis is either acute or chronic, and symptoms include a cough that produces mucus.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a collective term for diseases that cause the inflammation of the airways, progressive damage of lung tissue, and restricted airflow. Emphysema (damage of the alveoli of the bronchial tubes) and chronic bronchitis are examples of COPD, and they often occur together. Treatment is important to improve symptoms and patient quality of life.
- Occupational lung disease – chronic respiratory problems that are caused by repeated or prolonged exposure to irritating or toxic substances, such as asbestos, dust, mold, bacteria, fungi, or silica dust.
- Pulmonary fibrosis – a thickening and scarring of the lungs that can limit the ability of the lungs to take in oxygen.
- Sarcoidosis – the growth of tiny immune cells (granulomas) in the lungs and lymph nodes that can lead to damage. Symptoms include shortness of breath and persistent dry cough.
Pulmonary medicine covers a vast scope of lung issues that are structural, inflammatory, infectious, or neoplastic. A pulmonologist also treats all types of cancer that affect the lungs, bringing together other specialists to give you the best treatment options for your condition.
When Should You See a Pulmonologist?
Respiratory symptoms that last three weeks should be examined by a pulmonologist. Symptoms such as chest pain or tightness, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and fatigue could indicate lung disease. Ask your primary care doctor for a referral.
To test for lung disease, pulmonologists use a variety of tools such as an X-ray, a spirometer, a breathing machine, as well as test your blood and sputum and assess your tolerance to exercise – all to aid in making a correct diagnosis.
Pulmonologists in Weatherford, TX
The pulmonary specialists at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas are experts in providing care and treatment for patients with all manner of lung conditions, including rare diseases. Our physicians are trained in pulmonary medicine as well as sleep medicine (as lung conditions affect sleep quality), which allows us to provide the full spectrum of pulmonary care. Our goal is to help you feel better fast.
We are committed to improving your condition and quality of life. To make an appointment with a pulmonologist at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas, call our clinic at (817) 594-9993 or use our online request form. We are proud to serve Parker County and the surrounding areas. We look forward to helping you breathe better by providing you with innovative, high-quality patient-centric care.