A pulmonologist is a medical specialist that diagnoses and treats diseases and problems of the respiratory system. Pulmonologists treat patients of all ages and gender including children and their specialities range from asthma to tuberculosis.
Our respiratory system includes all organs that aid breathing including the airway, lungs and respiratory muscles such as the diaphragm, intercostal muscles, accessory muscles, and exhalation muscles. The airway is the major component of the respiratory system, which comprises of the following organs:
- Bronchi and Bronchioles
A pulmonologist is specialized to treat conditions of any of the above organs or muscles. They have unparalleled expertise in treating respiratory disorders be it infectious, structural, inflammatory, neo-plastic, or autoimmune. In some instances, a pulmonologist can also treat cardiovascular problems, where diseases of the respiratory system such as pulmonary vascular disease have spread to affect other organs.
Conditions treated by Pulmonologist
A pulmonologist can treat all conditions of the respiratory system; some of the common problems include:
- Bronchiectasis that causes inflammation and excessive production of mucus
- Bronchitis that occurs because of inflamed lower airways
- Airflow blockage also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Emphysema that occurs when the air sacs in the lungs are damaged
- Interstitial lung diseases that scar and stiffen the lungs
- Occupational lung diseases caused by exposure or inhalation of harmful chemicals, toxins, proteins, dust, etc.
- Obstructive sleep apnea which leads to slow or absent breathing while sleeping
- Cystic Fibrosis – an inherited disease which causes clogging of sticky mucus in the lungs
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary hypertension that implies high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs
- Tuberculosis an air-borne bacterial infection of the lungs
These are only some of the common disorders treated by the pulmonologist. They can diagnose and treat various other respiratory diseases and problems.
Procedures used by Pulmonologist
To diagnose respiratory problems and diseases, a pulmonologist uses various tests and exams, such as below:
A pulmonologist uses various imaging tests such as below to diagnose the different structures of the lungs and chest to detect any irregularities causing respiratory problems.
- X-rays: X-rays are very helpful in providing initial images of the lungs and chest; this could be used to assess the overall health of the organs, spot any infections such as pneumonia or lung mass/tumour.
- CT scan: CT scan provides very detailed images of the chest and lungs which is very useful in diagnosing problems such as emphysema, lung cancer, pleural effusion, etc. CT scans can also be used by pulmonologists to monitor the condition of the patient while administering treatment.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to provide structural images of the chest and the pleural space – the area between the lung and the chest.
Pulmonary Function Tests
Pulmonary function tests are specifically administered to assess the overall respiratory health such as lung volume, oxygen absorption, inflammation in the lungs, and others. Some common pulmonary tests include:
- Spirometry to check lung capacity and airflow of lungs
- Lung volume test
- Pulse oximetry to assess blood oxygen level
- Arterial blood gas to detect the balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen in lungs
- Fractional exhaled nitric oxide to check for asthma or related problems
A pulmonologist can conduct a sleep assessment to detect problems such as obstructive sleep apnea. This test records the brain and muscle activity of a person while sleeping.
A pulmonologist can take a piece of the lung tissue or the pleura – surrounding lung membrane to diagnose any inflammation, infection or cancer.
Symptoms of Respiratory Problems
Certain symptoms that indicate repertory issues and stress on the need of visiting a pulmonologist include:
- Severe cough continuing for more than 3 weeks
- Acute chest pain
- Breathing problems
- Extreme fatigue
- Chest clogging
How to find the best pulmonologist in Jaipur?
If you are experiencing any respiratory problems, you must consult a pulmonologist at the earliest. To find the best pulmonologist in Jaipur, you can follow the following steps:
- Know your problem and understand your symptoms
- Make a list of pulmonologists in Jaipur by using Google and dedicated portals such as Practo or Justdial. You can also take referrals from family and friends
- Narrow your list based on factors such as practising hospital, speciality, years of experience, successful cases, referred cases, educational background, etc. You can know this from the hospital’s website.
- Read about the hospital and check the credentials in terms of history, acknowledgements, recognitions, affiliations, healthcare facilities, medical technologies, the panel of doctors, assistive teams, patient cases, etc.
- Check online reviews of the pulmonologist and the hospital, particularly in the area of respiratory problems.
- Call the shortlisted doctor and pre-book an appointment
You should definitely consider getting an advanced consultation from the experienced team of pulmonologists at RBH Hospital, Jaipur.