Are you suffering from Asthma or having issues like smoking, overweight? it seems that your respiratory system fails from time to time and you lose your breath easily. In these cases, it is better to go to a competent specialist, the pulmonologist.
- What is pulmonology?
- In what cases do you have to make an appointment with a pulmonologist?
- When to go to the pulmonologist’s office?
- What are the people at high risk?
- What should you have prepared for your first visit to the pulmonologist?
- How is the first visit?
- The pneumology in 6 figures
What is pulmonology?
This medical specialist who studies and treats diseases of the lungs, bronchi, and pleura. The main areas that pathologies treats are, namely, respiratory failure, asthma, emphysema, diseases of an infectious nature (lung abscess, bronchopneumonia, pleurisy, pneumonia, tuberculosis) or tumor (lung cancer, pleural cancer, etc.). .
In what cases do you have to make an appointment with a pulmonologist?
Consultation is mandatory when a cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath) are permanent. These symptoms, which are usually quite discrete, cause, however, an abnormality of the respiratory system. Whether you are a smoker or not, athlete or not, cough and dyspnea do not have to be fatal.
There are other signs that we must also take into account, such as beeps or noises when breathing and pains in the rib cage.
When to go to the pulmonologist’s office?
In general, the attending physician, after issuing a pre-diagnosis, refers the patient to the pulmonologist.
Who are the people at high risk?
A non-smoker, in good health and without overweight does not need to consult a pulmonologist. However, it is recommended that smokers and people suffering from overweight or hypertension visit the pulmonologist regularly.
Also, individuals who have been exposed to asbestos, sawdust from exotic woods or toxic products should also see a pulmonologist regularly.
In preventive terms, this visit is more necessary to assess the state of the lungs and to curb the possible problems that the traditional tests (radiography of the lungs) that usually practice occupational medicine, and that are increasingly less widespread.
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What should you have prepared for your first visit to the pulmonologist?
- Family history: cases of allergy, asthma, and cancer.
- The personal history: asthma, allergies, smoking, the profession of risk, the presence of domestic animals, diseases of early childhood …
- Tests and prescribed medications: present all chest X-rays, the results of blood tests, a list of medications you are currently taking, etc.
How is the first visit?
The consultation begins with a complete questionnaire accompanied by an examination of the various documents provided by the patient.
For a severe smoker, the first test is a chest x-ray and, if necessary, a fibroscopy.
For a person suffering from dyspnea, the specialist evaluates the expiratory flow with a peak flow meter.
To explore the quality of the airways, a respiratory functional examination (EFR) is performed by breathing differently inside a hermetically closed cabin.
In case of respiratory failure, the examination is more complex and longer.
Keywords that you must know
Pulmonary emphysema is a diffuse condition of the lungs characterized by a distention of the alveoli with the destruction of the walls. This disease is comprised of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The pleura is a thin membrane that covers the lungs. Diseases of the pleura are infectious (tuberculosis) or tumorous (mesothelioma after prolonged exposure to asbestos) and the pleura is still the first affected by metastases in the case of lung cancer.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bronchi that affects both adults and children. It involves breathing difficulties, wheezing when breathing and coughing fits. This disease is a public health problem that affects 10 percent of children and young people, and 5 percent of the adult population in industrialized countries.
Sleep apnea is characterized by the momentary interruption of breathing during sleep caused by a temporary weakening of the muscle tone of the throat. This syndrome implies, therefore, a sleep disorder, as well as an insufficient oxygenation of the blood. It affects more men who are overweight and those who snore.
The pneumology in 6 figures
- In the United States of America, there are more than 13000+ pulmonologists.
- Tobacco is the cause of lung cancer and COPD in 90% of cases.
- Million people suffer from sleep apnea in the US.
- It is estimated that there are more than 7 million asthmatics in our country.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents in Spain the fourth cause of mortality with 33 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
- Pneumonia is the first cause of death in the world under the age of five.