A lung specialist is a particular type of medical professional who specialises in the respiratory system and all disorders, diseases and preventative medicine associated with maintaining good respiratory health. Sometimes called a respiratory specialist or a respiratory physician, your lung specialist is the expert diagnostician and treatment doctor responsible for discovering if you have any pulmonary issues, how to treat them and what you can do to prevent them from getting worse.
What will a lung specialist do?
If you have been referred to an expert in respiratory medicine ike a pulmonologist or lung specialist, then they will first try to ascertain what, if anything, is wrong with your respiratory system. Respiration and the respiratory system refer to anything your body does related to breathing. As breathing is the mostvital function our body performs, this is a particularly large area of medicine and therefore encompasses a lot of different bodily functions, potential disorders and treatments.
The kinds of services a lung specialist will offer can include the diagnosis and treatment for things like asthma, breathing-related sleep disorders (sleep apnoea), lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and other forms of chronic lung disease and illnesses.
Lung specialists can also offer surgical procedures to patients which include performing a bronchoscopy, or surgical exploration of the lung; a lobectomy which involves the removal of one of the lobes of the lung, and lung transplant procedures, including the ongoing treatment of successful transplant patients.
As diagnosticians, they work with many different medical practitioners and specialists, performing tests both to diagnose potential health conditions and to further understand the respiratory system. They can perform lung function tests to both ascertain any potential health issues with the lungs and respiratory system, as well as fitness tests and examinations required for individuals who need to be cleared as fit and healthy for particular jobs or intense physical activity. Their function as diagnosticians also extends to work within conducting and monitoring, or referring patients for, a sleep study.
Why would I be referred to a lung specialist?
A lung specialist may help to diagnose the presence of a lung infection or chronic condition. An infection of the lung could, for example, present as a persistent cough, as shortness of breath or may not present any immediate breathing related symptoms at all. You may have found that your symptoms were initially related to irregular heart rhythms or blood pressure and you may have been referred to a lung specialist by another medical specialist like a cardiologist. As medical doctors and specialists tend to operate within specific areas of medicine, they will often refer patients to experts in different fields who may have more recent or more detailed information and experience with a particular illness or condition.
Due the rise of telehealth services now available right across Australia, you can now book consultations with medical practitioners and specialist consultants online. These consultations usually take place from the comfort of your home offering your privacy and convenience. If a lung specialist, or another medical professional, has recommended that you undertake a sleep study to ascertain whether you have any respiratory issues related to your sleep cycle, you can now access Medicare-funded sleep studies undertake at home in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. To find out whether you qualify for services in Adelaide and Perth, please contact one of our consultants either online through our website or over the phone on 1300 76 29 39.
Through our partnership with Centurion Health, the CPAP Clinic can help you source and book your own sleep study conducted in the security and comfort of your home. This sleep study can assist in providing diagnoses for a range of sleep disorders including Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), a common sleep condition that is characterised by periodic cessations of normal breathing throughout sleep. The walls of the throat, your main airway into your lungs, can partially or completely collapse during sleep if you have this condition. When the brain senses an issue with your regular breathing patterns, it will attempt to wake the body in order to rectify the issue. As the body begins to waken, normal muscle function returns to your throat and airways, opening the airway and allowing you to take a normal breath.
Most people with this condition may not even know that they have it. They may experience irregular tiredness or difficulty remaining alert and retaining concentration throughout the day but may attribute these symptoms to other environmental factors. Our sleep is usually the first thing that begins to suffer during periods of upheaval and stress, and it is easy to assume that your fatigue, irritability and difficulty staying awake is due to emotional stress and not a respiratory condition. A sleep specialist and a lung specialist can assist in providing a diagnosis for OSA and a treatment program that can help you to manage your sleep and obtain productive and healthy rest.
OSA is highly treatable and the use of Continuous Positive Airway Therapy (CPAP) is one of the most common and successful methods for treating the condition. If you believe that you may be at risk of sleep apnoea or wish to find out whether your sleep is causing your respiratory concerns, contactyour local GP or one of our consultants for more information on what you can do to obtain a diagnosis and a treatment plan.