You might not know it but your lifestyle practices put you at risk for developing a pulmonary disease. Hence, if you are at risk due to your occupation or lifestyle, you should see a pulmonary doctor in Michigan. Furthermore, to help you find the specialist at the right time, here are five signs that deem it necessary to see a pulmonologist.
What is a pulmonologist?
A pulmonologist is a physician who studies pulmonary medicine. It is the domain of medicine that includes the diagnosis, treatment, management, and mitigation of pulmonary diseases.
The pulmonary system includes the organs and muscles that are involved in the breathing process. They include the mouth, nose, sinuses, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchial tubes, lungs, and diaphragm. In the lungs, structures such as bronchioles and alveoli are pulmonary medicine’s preliminary matter of interest. This is because, the alveoli are directly targeted by different chronic pulmonary diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and Bronchiectasis.
To specialize in pulmonary medicine, the first stage is to complete medical school. Then, the physician finishes their residency in internal medicine in a hospital for 3 years to gain adequate clinical experience. Once their residency is concluded, the board-certified internist finishes their fellowship in pulmonary medicine. The physician needs to clear specialty exams to earn board certification in pulmonology.
How a pulmonary doctor can help you?
A pulmonologist can assist you with both acute and chronic breathing issues. However, it is recommended to see a primary care practitioner for mild conditions and those that require quick management like cold or respiratory infections. Such pulmonary concerns are well handled by primary physicians.
However, for severe medical circumstances, you should visit a pulmonary doctor or would be directed to one by your primary practitioner. The first stage of treating such intricate medical conditions is to make a satisfactory diagnosis. The pulmonologist uses different diagnostic tools such as spirometry, blood tests, chest X-rays, and bronchoscopy. In the case of sleep-related breathing disorders, the pulmonologist suggests in-clinic or home sleep studies.
After the diagnosis, the treatment begins. The treatment strategy will contain both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical approaches. In case the patient demands surgery, a surgeon will be brought on board. However, mostly the treatment plan consists of medications, therapy, and/or pulmonary rehabilitation to ensure optimum health and pulmonary wellness.
Since most pulmonary diseases require debilitating and life-long care, pulmonary doctor are usually found working synergistically with other specialists as well. They coordinate care and ensure that the treatment plans progress appropriately.
5 Signs That Make it Crucial To See a Pulmonologist:
Cough is the initial symptom of almost all respiratory diseases, be it a viral or bacterial infection or asthma. In viral flu and cold, the cough subsides within a few days. However, some people experience a persistent cough that does not subside for three weeks. In such cases, you’d need to visit a pulmonary doctor for timely assistance.
Shortness of Breath:
It is okay to feel breathless after doing exercise or performing strenuous activity. However, if the condition persists and you continuously feel out of breath, it is a matter of concern. It is a clinical sign of pulmonary conditions like bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia and deems it inevitable to visit a pulmonologist.
People who smoke, and that too for a long time, are at risk for different pulmonary diseases. Smoking can impair the alveoli in the lungs and their subsequent inflammation leads to the onset of such conditions. Therefore, people who are long-term smokers are advised to visit their pulmonologist if they experience symptoms such as cough, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
If you experience swelling on proximities such as the ankle, leg, or foot along with breathlessness – you should immediately see a pulmonary doctor. It is a sign of pulmonary edema in which there is an accumulation of fluids in the lungs. In some cases, it is also a sign of pulmonary hypertension which is characterized by high pulmonary blood pressure.
Abnormalities in Breathing:
Apart from persistent cough, breathlessness, and swelling, there are other symptoms that require immediate medical assistance. These include chest pain, dizziness, fainting, and fatigue.
Diseases That Should be Treated By Pulmonologists
Asthma: – is a disease that causes the inflammation of breath and is clinically presented by wheezing, breathlessness, shortness of breath (SOB), and cough.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – is an umbrella term that comprises emphysema, a disease that impairs the air sacs present in the lungs, causing airway inflammation.
Cystic fibrosis – is a hereditary disorder that targets the mucus-producing cells causing the thick mucus accumulates in the lungs.
Interstitial lung disease – like COPD, interstitial lung disease is an umbrella term used to define different conditions that damage the lungs.
Lung cancer – malignant tumors that target lungs which may or may not spread to nearby organs too.
Obstructive sleep apnea – OSA is a breathing-related disorder indicated by periodic breaks in breathing due to intermittent collapse of the airway.
Pulmonary hypertension – a distinct etiology of hypertension because of elevated blood pressure in the lungs.
Tuberculosis: A bacterial infection that damages the tissues of the lungs, leading to repetitive cough.
When Should You See a Pulmonologist?
While it is not feasible to rush to a pulmonologist if you have a cough, it is important to visit your primary care provider. If the primary physician diagnoses a potentially serious concern, they’ll refer you to a pulmonary doctor for much more comprehensive treatment.
However, there are certain instances that deem it necessary to visit a pulmonologist, such as:
- Coughs that persist for more than 3 weeks.
- Chest pain or tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in breathing, especially during strenuous activities
- Recurring episodes of chronic bronchitis or asthma.
How to find a pulmonologist?
You may need to find a pulmonologist if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms. In addition, if your chronic pulmonary condition is not getting better with the ongoing treatment, it’s time to see a specialist. However, the question is, how do you find a pulmonologist? Following are some ways, you can come across an experienced pulmonary doctor:
People who have a dedicated primary care physician can be referred to a pulmonologist. The group of primary physicians curates a list of a different pulmonologists, based on their expertise or vicinity and can link you to one.
Through Health Insurance Provider:
If you have health insurance, you can check the provider’s website for a Lung and Sleep Clinic. This is particularly beneficial for those who are suffering from breathing-related sleeping disorders as the facility offers both pulmonary and sleep medicine.
Through Search Engine:
The ultimate choice is to look for a pulmonologist in your vicinity. You can read the physician’s customer reviews to know more about their conduct and expertise.
However, it is essential to remember that in case of lung complaints, particularly trouble in breathing, you need immediate medical intervention. In such cases, you should rush to ER or an urgent care center, rather than booking an appointment.
Breathing Is Key To a Good Life
Breathing is a simple task but can be burdening for those who suffer from a pulmonary disease. It can affect your quality of life and your capacity to perform basic chores. To ensure, your pulmonary health remains optimal, you should book an appointment at Lung And Sleep clinic Lathrup village – Michigan. The pulmonary doctor there is looking forward to helping you live a better life.
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