People suffering from asthma-related conditions, bronchitis, tuberculosis or pneumonia–which are in the chronic level–are usually in need of a specialist. Such a specialist is known as a pulmonary doctor or pulmonologist. Pulmonary physicians study and treat illnesses of the airways, chest and lungs and take care of those that are ill in critical care sectors. They are also equipped to tackle sleep disorders.



Why Would Someone Want to Seek Out a Pulmonologist?

Signs That It's Time to See a Pulmonologist  

Here are several reasons why it might be in one’s best interest to consult a pulmonologist:

1. If there are abnormalities in the lungs that make it hard to breathe properly

Too many inflammatory processes can eventually cause certain abnormalities in the structure of the lungs that permanently block airflow. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is when a group of lung ailments obstruct airflow and make it hard to breathe. The disease is mainly caused by chronic bronchitis and emphysema and the common signs are:

• Chest pain.
• Dizziness.
• Fainting.
• Feeling tired.
• Swelling of the leg.
• Shortness of breath and lightheadedness during physical activity.


2. Presence of an acute or chronic cough

A simple cough linked to a common cold or allergies should not send someone looking for a pulmonologist. Primary care doctors should be the first stop. However, one should see a pulmonology doctor if the cough persists for over three weeks or it worsens. That should be done in consultation with a primary care provider.

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3. Asthma

Although asthma might be the most common chronic illness in kids, it also has an effect on a number of adults. When a person has asthma, his or her bronchial tubes react to stimuli and swell. The most common symptoms of this condition are shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. Anyone who experiences asthma that is not properly controlled or has unknown triggers should see a pulmonology doctor.


4. Lung cancer

Tumors develop when cells divide excessively and rapidly. Tumors that are confined and don’t invade neighboring tissues or organs are considered benign. On the other hand, those that spread to the surrounding organs or tissues are called malignant or cancerous tumors. When it comes to lung cancer, patients are often advised to consult a pulmonologist to assess lung issues that they have along with the cancer. The pulmonology doctor examines the patient’s lung function before surgery or treats lung symptoms they might have because of lung cancer surgery.