Pulmonology is the study of medicine associated with diseases of the lungs and bronchial tubes, which may also involve evaluation of the upper respiratory tract (nose, pharynx and throat) as well as the heart. Pulmonary care is any specialized care relating to the lungs. Pulmonology and is most often classified as an internal medicine subspecialty. Pulmonologists are often known as respiratory physicians.
Common issues a patient might be seen for include pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema, and other complicated chest infections. Consultation, diagnoses and treatments from a pulmonology provider may include a variety of procedures: laboratory, spirometry (determination of lung volumes determined by breathing into a special machine), chest x-rays, CT scanning, sleep studies, medications, and more.
Many conditions can be managed by a primary care provider. Care from a pulmonologist will generally be based on referral from a primary care physician or other type of specialist when complex pulmonary problems need further treatment or more specialized care. A large number of insurance companies are now requiring referrals, it is important that you have your referral at the time of your visit to avoid being financially responsible for the entire visit.
Sleep medicine is a subspecialty of pulmonology dedicated to the diagnosis and therapy of sleep disturbances and disorders. Sleep medicine may also be a subspecialty of neurology, internal medicine or psychiatry. Proper sleep plays an essential role in good health. Sleep specialists study and treat issues such as excessive snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, and circadian rhythm disorders. Other conditions to see sleep medicine may include bedwetting, nightmares, night terrors, periodic limb movement disorder/restless leg syndrome, REM behavior disorder, sleep paralysis, sleepwalking, teeth grinding, and more.
Diagnosis and treatment often includes taking a complete personal and family history, lab tests, physical examination, and sometimes a sleep study which consists of an overnight stay in a sleep center
- Sleep Apnea
- Sleep Disorders
- Pulmonary function testing
- Respiratory infections
- Sleep apnea surgery