Pulmonology or “respiratory medicine” is a specialty of medicine dealing with diseases involving the lower respiratory tract. In our era of increasing air pollution caused by the urbanisation, the incidence of asthmatic and chronic inflammatory respiratory diseases (such as COPD) is constantly increasing. The role of the pulmonology specialist is to prevent the above mentioned diseases and to treat acute and chronic respiratory symptoms and infectious types of pneumonia in the framework of outpatient care. Furthermore, they are also used to perform pre-operational evaluation of the respiratory system, as well as tumour screening.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT A PULMONOLOGY SPECIALIST?
- In case of symptoms related to pulmonary diseases: coughing, difficulty breathing, chest pain, (regular) discharge from the lower respiratory tract (lungs).
- In case of any known pulmonary disease.
- If, during a general or a screening examination, abnormal pulmonary lesion(s) is/are detected by imaging techniques.
- If you experience any change in the previously existing, ordinary respiratory symptoms.
- If, other organ’s disease was detected by routine screening examinations, and a potential relationship with the pulmonary disease is suspected.
- If you have known pulmonary disease and you would like to have a child, a status evaluation for setting the optimal therapy is recommended to increase the chance of pregnancy and to minimise the chance of miscarriage.
- In case of known or suspected infectious pulmonary disease in the patient’s surroundings.
- To rule out hereditary pulmonary disease, in case of family history.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING THE PULMONOLOGY EXAMINATION?First of all, our specialist records your history, reviews your previous medical documentation and performs a physical examination. Afterwards, the specialist creates a treatment plan and arranges the pulmonology examination. Generally, respiratory function tests (if not performed before) and imaging procedures may be deemed necessary. If it is required, the specialist arranges further examinations (CT, consultation with other specialists...). During a follow-up examination, the specialist summarises the findings of the reports, sets the therapy, gives instructions to the patient and makes follow-up appointments.