A pulmonologist Houston is a medical specialist, who treats diseases of the respiratory passages and lungs. Patients seek treatment from pulmonologists for obstructive lung disease, cancer, and infections, as well as diseases of the heart, and upper respiratory tract. A pulmonary specialist will take a patient’s medical history, perform diagnostic procedures, and dispense multiple treatment options, including mechanical ventilation, oxygen therapy, and medication.
Medieval anatomists believed that the lungs cooled the body. Early in the eleventh century, an Islamic medical philosopher named Avicenna, speculated that the lungs were fed by hot, bilious blood, which kept them moist. Galen, another medieval scientist, argued that blood passed into the lungs to absorb heat, and then to carry that heat to the heart.
Other physicians thought that lungs controlled emotions. Alessandro Benedetti, in 1497, argued that lungs controlled anger, and that lungs kept poisonous thoughts from entering the body. Anatomist Niccolo Massa, in 1559, stated that air prepared in the lungs served to nourish and restore the spirit, while seventeenth-century scientist William Harvey stated that bold people had hot lungs, and timid people had cold lungs.
Modern physicians know that the lungs absorb oxygen for the body’s use. The heart pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, where it passes through tiny capillaries in the air sacs. After absorbing oxygen from air sacs, blood then returns to the heart, to be distributed throughout the body.
Respiratory diseases interfere with the absorption of oxygen in the body. Pulmonologists treat inflammatory, obstructive, and restrictive diseases, like asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Pulmonologists also treat infectious diseases, like pneumonia and tuberculosis, cancers, and pulmonary vascular diseases.
Certified pulmonologists complete many years of education. After finishing undergraduate degrees, pulmonologists attend medical school, and then participate in internships, residencies, and fellowships. States require pulmonologists to be licensed, as well as board-certified, by the American Board of Internal Medicine. The demand for pulmonary specialists is expected to increase over the next ten years, because the aging of the population will necessitate more intensive care, and more mechanical ventilation.
Patients may contact the American Board of Medical Specialties, or the American Board of Internal Medicine, to find out if a pulmonologist Houston is board-certified. Patients may find the names of pulmonologists through referrals from physicians, insurance companies, or friends and family. Before visiting a pulmonologist, patients should find out if their insurance companies require a referral from a primary care physician, to guarantee that insurers will cover the cost of the visit.
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