Pulmonology is a specialised area of medicine in the diagnosis and treatment of the lung conditions and diseases pertaining to the respiratory system. Pulmonologists is a physician who is specialized in the knowledge and skill of pulmonary diseases and treat infections in the respiratory organs that help us to breathe like the airway including the nose,pharynx, trachea,larynx, bronchioles, alveoli and respiratory muscles like intercostal muscles, diaphragm, exhalation muscles and lungs and treat right from asthma,tumours,pulmonary vascular disease to tuberculosis.
Pulmonologists are medical graduates who first train in Internal medicine and do additional three years training in pulmonology. They are also trained in pulmonary immunology, molecular biology and physiology, they also spend time in clinical diagnosis training and management in critical care units and pulmonary function laboratories,respiratory care units, services, therapy and rehabilitation techniques.
Pulmonologist usually work in multi-speciality hospitals, taking care of intensive and critical care units. They also manage patients who need mechanical ventilation and artificial lifesupport. They are specially trained to treat lung diseases, chest diseases, lung cancer,pneumonia,airway disorders,narrowing or obstruction of airway,airflow blockage causing pulmonary obstructive disease,respiratory muscle failure leading to neuromuscular diseases,asthma,disordered breathing,tuberculosis,bronchiectasis caused due to mucus accumulation,inflammation of mucous membranes causing bronchitis,damage of the alveoli which results in emphysema and inhalation of chemicals and dust,due to occupational hazards,obstructive sleep apnoea which slows breathing while sleeping or even stops completely.
Pulmonologists do the following tests to determine diagnosis.The tests are chest fluoroscopy,pulmonary function test,lobectomy,sleep study,Ct scans,ultra sound,pleural biopsy bronchoscopy,thoracentesis,pulse oximetry test and also lung transplantation.
It is better to get an opinion of a pulmonologist When a person has the following symptoms like persistent cough,difficulty in breathing or cough up blood.A pulmonologist starts the diagnosis process with a review focusing hereditary diseases,pulmonary hypertension,auto immunises,exposure to infectious agents and toxins like smoke,industrial fumes,coal residues,cigarette smoke and even from allergies caused by malt processing factories.
Like other fields of medicine,physical diagnostics is very important which includes chest wall movements,unusual and diminished breadth sounds which can be found using stethoscope.
Blood tests,pulmonary function tests,polysomnography, CT scans, spirometry which is done by a machine and determines the airflow that a lung can maximum breathe, chest x-rays, positron emission tomography in case of lung cancer are the various tests done to help with the diagnosis.
The most important treatment is either by inhalation or in oral form by the usage of inhalers for inflammatory lung conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In severe respiratory problems oxygen therapy is necessarily used and When it becomes insufficient, mechanical ventilation is given to regularise breathing.
Pulmonologists educate the patients and their family members on improving and providing a cleaner, better quality of life which includes diet,exercise, inhalers and to return them to work and lead an active live and lesser hospitalizations or rehabilitation. Breathing exercises and swimming where the lung expands to take in maximum oxygen are some simple ways to motivate children by rehabilitation pulmonologist.