1. What is a Pulmonologist?
A doctor who is specialized in diagnosis and treatment of respiratory system diseases is called as pulmonologist. The respiratory system include the airway (all organs that carry air to lungs from body's outside environment), the lungs and the muscles for respiration.
2. What type of respiratory problems can a Pulmonologist treat?
Pulmonologists can treat lung or airway inflammation, blocked lung airways, damage to lung alveoli and lung diseases occurred due to inhalation of dust chemical or smoking, genetic diseases of the lung like cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis.
3. When do you need to visit a Pulmonologist?
You should visit a pulmonologist if you are facing breathing difficulties, having cough from a long time, have blood or mucus in cough, sudden weight loss due to unknown reasons and have severe breathing problem while doing daily activities or exercising.
4. What tests wil a Pulmonologist do for a check up?
Pulmonologists will perform different tests depending up on your problem. These may include CT scan, chest ultrasound, chest X-ray, pulse oximetry test, pleural biopsy, bronchoscopy (to examine airway), breathing test (pulmonary function test) to check functioning of lungs and sleep study to detect sleep disorder.
5. What is the difference between a Pulmonologist and chest surgeon?
Pulmonologists will diagnose and treat respiratory system related disorders but if you are having a serious lung disease then you will be referred to chest surgeon to remove affected lung part or for a lung transplant.
A pulmonologist is a specialist in internal medicine who helps in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases concerning the lungs, and the respiratory tract. A pulmonologist can diagnose and treat a wide range of respiratory disorders such as lung infections, pulmonary fibrosis, bronchitis, lung cancer, autoimmune disorders of lungs, emphysema, sleep apnoea, lung fibrosis, asthma, and tuberculosis.
A pulmonologist is an expert in issues related to the respiratory system and must be consulted for all issues of the respiratory system such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), persistent cough, asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, lung transplantation, occupational lung diseases, and lung cancer.
Pulmonology has several sub-disciplines such as paediatric pulmonology, and specialists in interstitial lung disease, sleep-disordered breathing, neuromuscular disease, lung transplantation, and obstructive lung disease.
Normal consultation charges of a pulmonologist in Pune can range between Rs. 250/- and Rs. 1,500/-. Other charges for diagnosis and treatment can vary according to intensity and duration of the treatment. The charges for treatment of tuberculosis may be minimal in government hospitals as they are funded directly by the central government.
The following treatments are available at a pulmonologist:
COPD: A COPD affected individual is not able to exhale normally. The two common causes of CPOD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Chronic Cough: A chronic cough for more than three weeks indicates infection of the respiratory tract, for example it could be tuberculosis. A consultation must be sought with a pulmonologist.
Asthma: It is one of the most commonly occurring lung diseases in children. Asthma is inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs, due to a stimulus. Asthma causes shortness of breath, coughing, and feeling of tightness in the chest region. An immediate treatment is necessary because in severe cases, asthma may even lead to death.
Lung Cancer: Lung cancer cases are increasingly becoming common due to air pollution and smoking. An early diagnosis and treatment can help effective treatment of the cancer. It will also prevent the tumour from spreading to other parts of the body.
Breathing Problems: Breathing issues such as uncomfortable and abnormal breathing, must be discussed with a pulmonologist to remove the underlying cause. If any serious disorder is diagnosed at an early stage, an immediate treatment enhances the chances of complete cure.