Pulmonology, also called pneumology, is the medical specialty that deals with the respiratory tract. Respiratory disorders are among the leading causes of hospitalisations and mortality.
That is why Hospital Ochoa recommends prevention as the best remedy to combat respiratory health issues, the vast majority of which are caused by smoking.
But cigarettes are not the only risk factor. Leaving aside harmful substances such as drugs, there are other precautions that should be taken for maintaining a healthy respiratory system:
- Wrap up and stay warm during cooler temperatures.
- Cover up in the rain to keep dry.
- Change out of your swimsuit after swimming.
- Avoid sleeping in the direct path of air-conditioning.
Respiratory symptoms and disorders
Common symptoms that may alert us to a possible respiratory disease include coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, choking, chest pain, and sputum (if yellow or greenish in colour will suggest an infection or bacterial growth).
The Pulmonology Department at Hospital Ochoa studies, diagnoses and treats:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Sleep apnea-hypopnea.
- Sarcoidosis and interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.
- Pulmonary embolism.
- Respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis and bronchiectasis.
- Malignant growths such as lung cancer (screening and prevention).
Hospital Ochoa’s team of pulmonologists also studies and evaluates patients’ lung functions in order to make diagnoses and develop therapeutic treatments. In cases where surgery is needed, these tests also help with the preoperative stages, as well as to evaluate the risks of anaesthesia.
There are various types of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) available, which depending on the patient’s symptoms may be carried out alongside radiological studies of the thorax such as X-rays or CT scans.
The most common lung test is spirometry, which is a non-invasive test that measures the amount and speed of air that a patient is able to inhale and exhale.