A pulmonologist is a doctor who focuses on the respiratory system. These doctors can diagnose and treat a variety of lung diseases. Lung disease may refer to different types of disorders or diseases that prevent the lungs from working properly. If you have any problems that involve the lungs, seeing a pulmonologist is highly recommended.There…
How a Pulmonologist Can Help With Your Sleep Apnea
If you struggle breathing but have not visited a pulmonologist, it is time to learn more about what this professional does and make an appointment. This doctor has knowledge and training in the human respiratory system. From your mouth down to your lungs, if you have issues anywhere in these areas, your doctor can provide a diagnosis and effective treatment. If you cannot get enough air, or if there are other conditions affecting your respiration, you may have difficulty sleeping at night. Sleep apnea is another effect of these issues. Luckily, this doctor can help you overcome this challenge as well.
How a pulmonologist can provide relief
A primary care physician is often the first place a patient goes for temporary breathing issues. However, when the symptoms become long-term and affect daily life, the patient should see a pulmonologist. This doctor can treat patients who have asthma, bronchitis, rheumatoid lung disease, COPD and other serious conditions. The doctor will identify these by doing a chest X-ray, CT scan or blood work. Then, the doctor will develop a care plan, which may include medications and breathing treatments.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition where a person has periods where they stop breathing while they sleep. The interruptions may be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Airway blockages cause this condition. This can happen when the tongue or other tissues obstructs air from getting in and out of the mouth. Excess weight and smoking are two of the most significant causes of the problem.
What the pulmonologist can do
The doctor may begin by ordering and conducting a sleep test. There are tests that the patient can do at a medical facility under supervision as well as at-home options. In the tests, equipment will monitor the person’s brain, heart and lung activity during sleep. The doctor and staff will also measure oxygen levels and leg movements while the patient is asleep. A machine will collect data from the test, and the doctor will review the results and make a diagnosis. Within a few days, the doctor will share these with the patient.
Treating the disorder
Fortunately, there are effective ways the doctor can treat sleep apnea and improve the patient’s ability to breathe and rest. A continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP, is one of the most common ways to help people manage the condition. This device consists of a mask and a machine that constantly blows air into the person’s mouth. The patient will use the device each night. Mouth appliances such as tongue depressors or mouthguards can also help keep the person’s airway clear.
Rest easy again
Breathing problems can make life miserable, especially if it hinders sleep. If you are having a hard time breathing at night, call your pulmonologist and get the relief you need. Call today to make an appointment for an evaluation. You can begin now to breathe more effectively and defeat the effects of sleep apnea.
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