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…
Why You May See a Pulmonologist for Your Cough
Learn when a cough should lead you to see a pulmonologist. The tricky thing about a cough is that something as simple as wearing too much perfume can cause it. On the other hand, it might indicate some kind of serious respiratory problem.
What is a pulmonologist?
A pulmonologist is a doctor who works in the field of pulmonary medicine. In other words, this physician diagnoses and treats a broad range of respiratory conditions, illnesses and diseases. While some are relatively minor, others could be potentially life-threatening.
When is a cough potentially serious?
Sometimes, a cough is the first sign of something major. For that reason, people need to understand when to take one seriously.
1. Types of coughs
One of the first things people need to do is learn when the symptoms of a cough could mean a potential health problem. For example, someone with an acute cough, which comes on suddenly and lasts a minimum of three weeks, needs to see a pulmonologist. A doctor should also see an individual for a sub-acute cough, which lasts anywhere from three to eight weeks.
There is also a chronic cough, meaning it lasts more than eight weeks. A pulmonologist should also see an individual if they begin to cough up phlegm. However, if they have a persistent cough without phlegm, that, too, means they should visit the doctor’s office. Even a cough that occurs only at night could indicate a problem.
Paroxysmal cough is yet another type. In this case, the individual has intermittent attacks of uncontrollable and violent coughing. Most often, people with this type of cough have COPD, pneumonia, pertussis, asthma or tuberculosis. However, it can also go along with someone choking. Finally and most importantly, if someone coughs up blood, they need to make an appointment right away, even if the amount of blood is small.
2. Possible indications
Just because someone deals with bouts of coughing does not automatically mean they have a serious health issue. However, anyone with concerns, whether they fit into any of the cough categories or not, can schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist.
As far as what a cough means, there are a number of reasons, as shown with paroxysmal coughing. People need to remember that regardless of the kind of cough, if they have any of the following symptoms, they need to see a pulmonologist. Sometimes, a person should first schedule an appointment with their primary care physician. After an examination, that doctor would refer them to a pulmonologist.
- Coughing up blood
- Coughing longer than three weeks
- A cough accompanied by fever and/or weight loss
- Trouble breathing
- Already diagnosed with a lung disease like COPD, asthma or tuberculosis
Reach out for help
If you match with any of the information provided, you need to see a pulmonologist. When it comes to potential lung disease, you should never simply hope the problem goes away. Instead, make an appointment as soon as possible. That gives the doctor a better chance of treating the problem before it turns into a bad situation.
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