What is a respiratory physician?
A respiratory physician (or pulmonologist) is a doctor who specializes in treating and managing patients with conditions affecting their lungs.
Why you would see a pulmonologist?
- Asthma – this is a common condition affecting the airways which are hyperresponsive and inflammed. It usually presents with shortness of breath particularly on exertion, cough and wheeze.
- Chronic bronchitis, emphysema and COPD – this spectrum of conditions is generally due to smoking. Shortness of breath and often cough are the usual symptoms.
- Lung cancer – Often due to smoking lung cancer can present with cough, coughing up blood (haemoptysis), shortness of breath or chest pain.
- Mesothelioma – this cancer generally thought to be related to asbestos exposure affects the lining of the lung. It can present with chest pain or shortness of breath.
- Interstitial lung disease – a large number of conditions can cause fibrosis (scarring) to develop within the lung. This means the native lung tissue is destroyed and patients usually present with shortness of breath.
- Pneumonia – is infection of the lung. It presents with fever, cough with green or yellow sputum (phlegm) and sometimes shortness of breath or chest pain.
- Tuberculosis – a lung infection
- Pleural effusion – fluid that collects around the lung, can be due to many different causes. Presents with shortness of breath.