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What Does Pulmonary Mean In Medicine?

Have you ever suffered from a lung issue? Do you have difficulty breathing and cannot stop coughing? Any health condition that occurs due to lung abnormalities is called pulmonary disease.

In this blog, we will discuss pulmonary medicine, some pulmonary-related health issues, and the doctor who diagnoses and treats numerous diseases. Furthermore, for a clear understanding of your health condition, visit an experienced pulmonary doctor near you.

Pulmonary medicine: What is it?

It is a subspecialty of internal medicine that deals with health issues related to the lungs. It focuses on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of respiratory diseases. The doctors who treat this condition are called pulmonologists. They are lung and respiratory disease specialists who treat several medical conditions. They provide management and services for all lung and respiratory system issues.

Furthermore, pulmonologists offer critical care services to patients with life-threatening pulmonary conditions. So many of these conditions affect all of the other parts of the body. That causes complications that may require surgery.

What are some of the pulmonary problems pulmonologists treat?

Numerous pulmonary problems are diagnosed and treated by pulmonologists. Many of these diseases require long-term treatment plans and a collaborative team of specialists. Some of the pulmonary health conditions include:

  • Asthma:

A chronic disease that narrows, blocks, and swells the airways by excessive mucus. The mucus buildup makes it harder for air to pass through. While it cannot be cured it is managed through proper treatment. The classic symptoms of asthma are coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath

  • Acute and chronic bronchitis:

Bronchitis is inflammation and irritation of the airways leading to your lungs. That occurs due to the excessive mucus buildup in the airways. Both acute and chronic bronchitis have similar symptoms, which include shortness of breath and dry or productive cough. They only differ in the length of time.

Acute bronchitis is a short-term illness that results from a viral infection. It lasts for two or more weeks. However, chronic bronchitis is a lifelong illness that is managed with specific treatments.

  • Bronchiectasis:

It is a medical condition that causes severe damage to the tubes in your lungs. Patients with bronchiectasis have abnormally wide airways filled with mucus. That can cause persistent coughing and infections in the airway pockets.

  • Chronic cough:

A chronic cough is persistent coughing for eight or more weeks that tires you and interrupts your sleep.

  • Chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease (COPD):

It is a lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It usually occurs due to smoking, genetic reason, and occupational dust and chemicals. Over time, COPD makes it harder to breathe and gets worse if not managed at the right time.

  • Cystic fibrosis:

It is the most common and fatal genetic disease that affects people’s lungs and digestion. Patients suffer from thick and sticky mucus that clogs in their lungs, making it  harder for them to breathe and leading to severe lung infections. The mucus also blocks the bile duct in the liver, which permanently damages the liver.

  • Emphysema:

It is a lung disease caused by smoking and air pollution. The symptoms of emphysema are coughing shortness of breath, and fatigue. It is tested through imaging and breathing tests.

  • Interstitial lung disease:

A group of medical conditions that cause scarring and inflammation in your lungs. It causes dry cough and shortness of breath. The damage caused due to this condition is often irreversible.

  • Lung Cancer:

Cancer occurs due to abnormal cell division in the body.  Lung cancer grows and spreads in two ways. Non-small cell lung cancer, is the most common type of lung cancer. Small-cell lung cancer is less common and is named because of the size of the cancer cells.

  • Pneumonia:

It is a disease that causes inflammation and infection in the upper respiratory tract. Different germs cause pneumonia, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

  • Pulmonary embolism:

A medical condition in which a blood clot moves in your bloodstream and blocks one or more arteries of the lungs.

  • Pulmonary hypertension:

It is a pulmonary disease where blood pressure in the lungs’ blood vessels rises. It is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate attention.

  • Pulmonary fibrosis:

This medical condition occurs when tissues of your lungs thicken and get scarred. These tissues make it harder for a person to breathe.

  • Pulmonary valve disease:

It affects the valve between the artery that delivers blood to the lungs and the heart’s lower right chamber.

  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus:

It is a virus that infects the lungs and airways. It is most common in infants and very young children.

  • Sarcoidosis:

It is a rare disease that results in tiny lumps or nodules in the lungs. It causes swelling in the cells of your body. Some symptoms include eye pain, redness, tender sores on the chin, and shortness of breath.

  • Sleep Apnea:

A breathing problem that causes you to stop breathing while you are sleeping. It can also involve short pauses in your breathing during sleep. This condition can cause serious health issues if left untreated.

  • Tuberculosis:

It is a disease caused by the bacteria mycobacterium, which infects the lungs. It can also affect various body parts like the kidneys, the spine, and the brain.

Moreover, pulmonologists treat many occupation-related lung diseases. These occupation-related lung diseases include asbestosis, chronic beryllium disease, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, and silicosis.

Pulmonary Medicine: Training

Years of education and training are required to become a pulmonary doctor. After completing medical school and a residency program, the pulmonologists complete a two-year fellowship program. They further specialize in pulmonary immunology, pulmonary physiology, and much more.

Pulmonary doctors get certified and enhance their chances to work in a better medical setting. They can work in hospitals, critical care facilities, private clinics, and pulmonary rehabilitation centers.

Why would you see a pulmonary doctor?

If you experience worrisome respiratory symptoms that last more than three weeks, you must consult an experienced pulmonary doctor near you. They will run tests and assess your overall condition. Some symptoms include:

  • Persistent coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue

Moreover, other respiratory symptoms could be the cause of health issues in a person as well. It is vital to see a doctor, who will run tests and provide treatments for your condition.

Pulmonary Diseases: Tests and Procedures

Pulmonologists use various tools, tests, and procedures to test their patient’s condition and reach a correct diagnosis. These include:

  • a spirometer
  • breathing machines
  • X-rays
  • blood tests
  • CT scan
  • Arterial blood gas analysis
  • Pulmonary function tests

Furthermore, pulmonologists can use a variety of tests that they see fit to use for your problem.

Pulmonary Diseases: Treatment

The treatment for pulmonary disease depends on the type of pulmonary disease diagnosed. Some of the treatments include:

  • Medication
  • Bronchodilators
  • Inhaled steroids
  • Combination inhalers
  • Antibiotics
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation program

Furthermore, there are several treatments that pulmonary doctors use for pulmonary problems. It all depends on the type and severity of the medical condition.

Also Read: Changing Your Lifestyle to Treat Chronic Pain


Pulmonary medicine is a wide field that encompasses numerous diseases. You must not neglect your respiratory health and get treatments immediately. And there are many pulmonary doctors available for you. If you have further issues regarding lung health or any sleep-related issues, take an appointment for sleep solutions and lung problems.

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