What is pulmonology and what are some common conditions that pulmonologists treat?
Pulmonary medicine is a specialty dealing with all disorders related to the lungs and respiratory system. Conditions we commonly treat include:
Asthma- asthma affects all age groups, both male and female.
COPD- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is more common in older populations with exposure to tobacco smoke or occupational exposure to chemicals
Lung cancer- more people die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer
Pulmonary hypertension- this type of high blood pressure affecting the lungs is more complicated than systemic hypertension and doesn’t respond to the same medications. It is high pressure INSIDE the chest.
Pulmonary embolism- pulmonary embolism is usually caused when a blood clot travels to the arteries of the lungs from another part of the body.
Interstitial lung disease- autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are conditions that commonly affect the lungs, leading to scarring that makes breathing more difficult.
Genetic disorders of the lungs such as cystic fibrosis
Respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia
We often see patients with seasonal infections that make chronic conditions worse. Infections of the pleura are also very common. (The pleura are the paper-thin linings of the chest wall and outside of the lungs. The pleural cavity is the space between these two membranes that is usually filled with a small amount of fluid.)