What Happens In This Department
This department offers specialized diagnostic tests and treatment for people with diseases of the respiratory tract (pulmonology), immune system (immunology) and allergies. The most common condition investigated is asthma. Doctors will review possible environmental triggers to determine both indoor or outdoor allergens (substances a patient may be allergic to). In some instances a nurse may visit the patient's home to check for possible allergens. Some centers may have a cardiopulmonary sleep and ventilatory disorders laboratory. Here, patients are assessed overnight while sleeping to diagnose a variety of breathing disorders associated with sleep. It may be referred to as a sleep center.
What Is Treated
Periodic breathing associated with congestive heart failure (CHF).
Nocturnal asthma (where symptoms are worse at night).
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Breathing difficulties associated with obesity.
Chronic or recurrent sinusitis.
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
Anaphylaxis (serious allergic reactions).
Angioedema (edema, rapid swelling caused by allergic reaction).
Chronic lung disease.
Neurologic diseases (problems with the brain).
Chronic obstructive lung disease.
Neuromuscular disorders (diseases that affect the nerves that control your voluntary muscles).
Adult cystic fibrosis.
Types Of Doctors In This Department
Doctors who treat these conditions are allergists, immunologists and pulmonologists. A doctor who specializes in treating asthma is likely to qualify in one or more of these areas.