What does a respiratory physician (pulmonologist) do?
Pulmonology is the specialty relating to the respiratory system – including the airways, lungs and respiratory muscles. Diseases of the respiratory system can affect the nasal passages and nose, sinuses, throat, windpipe (trachea), larynx, lungs, chest wall, diaphragm and pulmonary circulation (circulation of blood through the lungs).
What conditions do respiratory physicians treat?
Common respiratory disorders include:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),
- pleural diseases,
- interstitial lung disease,
- lung nodules, and
- lung mass.
How are pulmonary disorders diagnosed?
Respiratory physicians investigate symptoms through a number of examinations and tests, including CT scans, chest fluoroscopy (x-ray), chest ultrasound, flexural biopsy, pulmonary function tests, pulse oximetry tests, thoracentesis (fluid sample), bronchoscopy and sleep studies.