Respiratory medicine, known also as pulmonology, respirology and pneumology, is a medical branch which focuses on the diseases involving the respiratory tract.
This discipline belongs to internal medicine and relates to intensive care medicine. Respiratory medicine involves techniques which help patients who need life support and mechanical ventilation.
The most common diseases associated with this discipline are pneumonia, asthma, emphysema, tuberculosis and complicated chest infections.
Physicians who are specialised in this discipline are known as pulmonologists, who have to obtain a medical degree and attend training sessions before becoming professionals.
The role of pulmonologists can be divided into three areas including diagnosis, procedures and treatments.
In the diagnosis stage, the pulmonologist focuses on the patient’s hereditary diseases, exposure to infectious agents, exposure to toxins and autoimmune diathesis that can predispose to specific conditions.
Then, in the procedure stage, the pulmonologist focuses on blood tests, spirometry, pulmonary function tests, chest X-rays and polysomnography.
Finally, in the treatment stage, the pulmonologist uses different types of medications which can be done via inhalation (e.g. steroids and bronchodilators) or in oral form (e.g. antibiotics).
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