What Does a Lung Infection Specialist Do and What to Expect?

lung infection specialist

Lung infection specialists, also known as pulmonologists, are medical doctors who specialise in diagnosing and treating lung infections, conditions, and diseases. If you’re wondering when to see a lung infection specialist, you’re surely not the only one.

Generally, you need to see a pulmonologist if you have questions or concerns about your respiratory system. In this article, we discuss the conditions a lung infection specialist treats and the common tasks he or she performs.

What diseases do lung infection specialists treat or help you prevent?

Lung infection specialists can treat a wide range of respiratory or lung problems, including: 

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • COVID-19
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Emphysema
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Tuberculosis

lung infection specialist can also treat occupation-related lung conditions such as asbestosis, berylliosis, black lung disease, and silicosis.

What kind of tests do lung infection specialists do?

lung infection specialist can order the following tests:

  • Blood tests or blood analysis
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Chest X-rays
  • CT Scan
  • Pulmonary function tests

The above-mentioned tests are performed to determine what kind of lung condition you have. Your oxygen levels and other blood parameters will be checked during blood tests or analyses.

On the other hand, a bronchoscopy is done to see what’s inside your lungs and airways. It lets the lung infection specialist look at your lungs and air passages. It is usually performed on patients who have persistent coughs or infections. Other reasons for doing a bronchoscopy are a diagnosis of a lung problem, a biopsy of tissue from the lung, the removal of mucus in the lung, and treatment of a lung problem.

Chest X-rays are also done to help the lung infection specialist diagnose problems that cause symptoms in your lungs. Some of these symptoms may include chest pain, a chronic cough, and difficulty breathing. Likewise, a CT scan may be performed to get a more detailed picture of the inside of your chest.

Meanwhile, pulmonary function tests are conducted to see how well your lungs work. These tests include spirometry, lung volumes, gas diffusion studies, and cardiopulmonary exercise tests.

This is why, on your first appointment with a pulmonologist, be sure to bring all your medical records. Your pulmonologist will want to see your X-rays, pulmonary function test results, and any other records of your medical history. Also, it will be helpful to bring a list of your current medications and supplements, as your pulmonologist will check whether you have other conditions that might also cause breathing problems.

Moreover, be ready to answer questions about your medical history. Your lung infection specialist will want to know if your parents, siblings, or other relatives have had lung problems. Having this information can help your lung infection specialist know what type of respiratory problem you could have. He or she may also ask the following questions:

How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?

How painful are the symptoms?

What medicines are you taking now?

Why see a lung infection specialist?

Most patients only see a doctor when they don’t feel well. But how severe should your symptoms be before you see a lung infection specialist?

You can consult with a lung infection specialist at any time, and you should never wait for your condition to worsen before seeking medical attention. If you have the following symptoms, don’t hesitate to consult a pulmonologist right away:

  • Your cough is severe or has lasted more than three weeks
  • You are experiencing chest pain
  • You feel dizzy and severely tired
  • You have trouble breathing
  • Your asthma becomes hard to control
  • Your cold keeps coming back

Final Thoughts

lung infection specialist can help you in many ways. So if you have any of the symptoms above, it could be time to find a pulmonologist near you.

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