Pulmonology

Pulmonology is a branch of medicine concerned with diagnosis and treatment of lung and respiratory conditions. Some of the most common conditions are asthma, cystic fibrosis, sleep problems, muscular dystrophy, lung disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Learn more about pulmonology at the Mount Sinai Health System

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Tests
ACE blood test
The ACE test measures the level of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in the blood. enzyme

Diseases & Conditions
Acute respiratory distress syndrome
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening lung condition that prevents enough oxygen from getting to the lungs and into the blood. Infants can also have respiratory distress syndrome...

Self-Care Instructions
Allergies, asthma, and dust
Reactive airway disease - dust; Bronchial asthma - dust; Triggers - dust

Self-Care Instructions
Allergies, asthma, and pollen
Reactive airway - pollen; Bronchial asthma - pollen; Triggers - pollen; Allergic rhinitis - pollen

Diseases & Conditions
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
Alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency is a condition in which the body does not make enough of a protein that protects the lungs and liver from damage. The condition can lead to emphysema and liver disease...

Diseases & Conditions
Alveolar abnormalities
Alveolar abnormalities are changes in the tiny air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli. Alveoli allow oxygen to enter the blood. They are very thin to let oxygen move from the lungs to the blood vessels,...

Diseases & Conditions
Asbestosis
Asbestosis is a lung disease that occurs from breathing in asbestos fibers.

Diseases & Conditions
Aspiration pneumonia
Pneumonia is a breathing condition in which there is swelling or an infection of the lungs or large airways. Aspiration pneumonia occurs when food, saliva, liquids, or vomit is breathed into the lungs or...

Diseases & Conditions
Asthma
Asthma is a disease that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. It leads to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

Self-Care Instructions
Asthma - control drugs
Asthma - inhaled corticosteroids; Asthma - long-acting beta-agonists; Asthma - leukotriene modifiers; Asthma - cromolyn; Bronchial asthma-control drugs; Wheezing - control drugs; Reactive airway disease...

Self-Care Instructions
Asthma - quick-relief drugs
Asthma - quick-relief drugs - short-acting beta-agonists; Asthma - quick-relief drugs - bronchodilators; Asthma - quick-relief drugs - oral steroids; Asthma - rescue drugs; Bronchial asthma - quick relief...

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Asthma - what to ask the doctor - adult
What to ask your doctor about asthma - adult

Self-Care Instructions
Asthma and school
Asthma action plan - school; Wheezing - school; Reactive airway disease - school; Bronchial asthma - school

In-depth Report
Asthma in adults
An in-depth report on how asthma is diagnosed, treated, and managed in adults.

In-depth Report
Asthma in children and adolescents
An in-depth report on how asthma is diagnosed, treated, and managed in children and adolescents.

Diseases & Conditions
Atelectasis
Atelectasis is the collapse of part or, much less commonly, all of a lung.

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Tests
Blood gases
Blood gases are a measurement of how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in your blood.  They also determine the acidity (pH) of your blood.

Symptoms
Breath sounds
Breath sounds are the noises produced by the structures of the lungs during breathing.

Symptoms
Breathing difficulty
Breathing difficulty may involve: Difficult breathingUncomfortable breathingFeeling like you are not getting enough air Difficult breathing Uncomfortable breathing Feeling like you are not getting enough...

Diseases & Conditions
Bronchiectasis
Bronchiectasis is a disease in which the large airways in the lungs are damaged. This causes the airways to become wider. Bronchiectasis can be present at birth or infancy or develop later in life.

Diseases & Conditions
Bronchitis - acute
Acute bronchitis is swelling and inflamed tissue in the main passages that carry air to the lungs. This swelling narrows the airways, which makes it harder to breathe. Other symptoms of bronchitis are a...

Diseases & Conditions
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a long-term (chronic) lung condition that affects newborn babies who were either put on a breathing machine after birth or were born very early (prematurely). chronic

Tests
Bronchoscopy
Bronchoscopy is a test to view the airways and diagnose lung disease. It may also be used during the treatment of some lung conditions.

Diseases & Conditions
Byssinosis
Byssinosis is a disease of the lungs. It is caused by breathing in cotton dust or dusts from other vegetable fibers such as flax, hemp, or sisal while at work.

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Self-Care Instructions
COPD - control drugs
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - control drugs; Bronchodilators - COPD - control drugs; Beta agonist inhaler - COPD - control drugs; Anticholinergic inhaler - COPD - control drugs; Long-acting inhaler...

Self-Care Instructions
COPD - how to use a nebulizer

Self-Care Instructions
COPD - quick-relief drugs
COPD - quick-relief drugs; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - control drugs; Chronic obstructive airways disease - quick-relief drugs; Chronic obstructive lung disease - quick-relief drugs; Chronic...

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
COPD - what to ask your doctor
What to ask your doctor about COPD; Emphysema - what to ask your doctor; Chronic bronchitis - what to ask your doctor; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - what to ask your doctor

Self-Care Instructions
COPD flare-ups
COPD exacerbation; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation; Emphysema exacerbation; Chronic bronchitis exacerbation

Diseases & Conditions
Chemical pneumonitis
Chemical pneumonitis is inflammation of the lungs or breathing difficulty due to inhaling chemical fumes or breathing in and choking on certain chemicals. breathing difficulty

Diseases & Conditions
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease. Having COPD makes it hard to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucusEmphysema...

Discharge Instructions
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - adults - discharge
COPD - adults - discharge; Chronic obstructive airways disease - adults - discharge; Chronic obstructive lung disease - adults - discharge; Chronic bronchitis - adults - discharge; Emphysema - adults -...

Symptoms
Clubbing of the fingers or toes
Clubbing is changes in the areas under and around the toenails and fingernails that occur with some disorders. The nails also show changes.

Diseases & Conditions
Coal worker's pneumoconiosis
Coal worker's pneumoconiosis (CWP) is a lung disease that results from breathing in dust from coal, graphite, or man-made carbon over a long time. CWP is also known as black lung disease.

Diseases & Conditions
Collapsed lung (pneumothorax)
A collapsed lung occurs when air escapes from the lung. The air then fills the space outside of the lung, between the lung and chest wall. This buildup of air puts pressure on the lung, so it cannot expand...

Diseases & Conditions
Cor pulmonale
Cor pulmonale is a condition that causes the right side of the heart to fail. Long-term high blood pressure in the arteries of the lung and right ventricle of the heart can lead to cor pulmonale.

Symptoms
Cough
Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. But too much coughing may mean you have a disease or disorder. Some coughs are dry. Others are productive. A productive cough is one...

Symptoms
Coughing up blood
Coughing up blood is the spitting up of blood or bloody mucus from the lungs and throat (respiratory tract). Hemoptysis is the medical term for coughing up blood from the respiratory tract.

Tests
Cytology exam of pleural fluid
A cytology exam of pleural fluid is a laboratory test to detect cancer cells and certain other cells in the area that surrounds the lungs. This area is called the pleural space. Cytology means the study...

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Self-Care Instructions
Day to day with COPD
COPD - day to day; Chronic obstructive airways disease - day to day; Chronic obstructive lung disease - day to day; Chronic bronchitis - day to day; Emphysema - day to day; Bronchitis - chronic - day to...

Diseases & Conditions
Drug-induced pulmonary disease
Drug-induced pulmonary disease is lung disease brought on by a bad reaction to a medicine.  Pulmonary means related to the lungs.

E

Diseases & Conditions
Empyema
Empyema is a collection of pus in the space between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall (pleural space).

Tests
Endoscopic ultrasound
Endoscopic ultrasound is a type of imaging test. It is used to see organs in and near the digestive tract.

Self-Care Instructions
Exercise-induced asthma
Wheezing - exercise-induced; Reactive airway disease - exercise

Self-Care Instructions
Exercising and asthma at school
Asthma - exercise school; Exercise - induced asthma - school

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Diseases & Conditions
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is a rare disorder in which blood vessels become inflamed. This leads to damage in major organs of the body. It was formerly known as Wegener's granulomatosis.

H

Diseases & Conditions
Hospital-acquired pneumonia
Hospital-acquired pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that occurs during a hospital stay. This type of pneumonia can be very severe. Sometimes it can be fatal.

Self-Care Instructions
How to breathe when you are short of breath
Pursed lip breathing; COPD - pursed lip breathing; Emphysema - pursed lip breathing; Chronic bronchitis - pursed lip breathing; Pulmonary fibrosis - pursed lip breathing; Interstitial lung disease - pursed...

Self-Care Instructions
How to use a nebulizer
Nebulizer - how to use; Asthma - how to use a nebulizer; COPD - how to use a nebulizer; Wheezing - nebulizer; Reactive airway - nebulizer; COPD - nebulizer; Chronic bronchitis - nebulizer; Emphysema - nebulizer

Self-Care Instructions
How to use an inhaler - no spacer
Metered-dose inhaler (MDI) administration - no spacer; Bronchial nebulizer; Wheezing - nebulizer; Reactive airway - nebulizer; COPD - nebulizer; Chronic bronchitis - nebulizer; Emphysema - nebulizer

Self-Care Instructions
How to use an inhaler - with spacer
Metered-dose inhaler (MDI) administration - with spacer; Asthma - inhaler with spacer; Reactive airway disease - inhaler with spacer; Bronchial asthma - inhaler with spacer

Self-Care Instructions
How to use your peak flow meter
Peak flow meter - how to use; Asthma - peak flow meter; Reactive airway disease - peak flow meter; Bronchial asthma - peak flow meter

Special Topics
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses a special pressure chamber to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.

Diseases & Conditions
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is inflammation of the lungs due to breathing in a foreign substance, usually certain types of dust, fungus, or molds.

Special Topics
Hypoventilation
Hypoventilation is breathing that is too shallow or too slow to meet the needs of the body. If a person hypoventilates, the body's carbon dioxide level rises. This causes a buildup of acid and too little...

I

Diseases & Conditions
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is scarring or thickening of the lungs without a known cause.

Diseases & Conditions
Industrial bronchitis
Industrial bronchitis is swelling (inflammation) of the large airways of the lungs that occurs in some people who work around certain dusts, fumes, smoke, or other substances. bronchitis

Diseases & Conditions
Interstitial lung disease
Interstitial lung disease is a group of lung disorders in which the lung tissues become inflamed and then damaged.

Discharge Instructions
Interstitial lung disease - adults - discharge
Diffuse parenchymal lung disease - discharge; Alveolitis - discharge; Idiopathic pulmonary pneumonitis - discharge; IPP - discharge; Chronic interstitial lung - discharge; Chronic respiratory interstitial...

L

Tests
Lung diffusion testing
Lung diffusion testing measures how well the lungs exchange gases. This is an important part of lung testing, because the major function of the lungs is to allow oxygen to "diffuse" or pass into the blood...

Special Topics
Lung disease - resources

Tests
Lung needle biopsy
A lung needle biopsy is a method to remove a piece of lung tissue for examination. If it is done through the wall of your chest, it is called a transthoracic lung biopsy.

Tests
Lung plethysmography
Lung plethysmography is a test used to measure how much air you can hold in your lungs. plethysmography

Special Topics
Lung problems and volcanic smog
Volcanic smog is also called vog. It forms when a volcano erupts and releases gases into the atmosphere. Volcanic smog can irritate the lungs and make existing lung problems worse.

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Self-Care Instructions
Make peak flow a habit!
Asthma - make peak flow a habit; Reactive airway disease - peak flow; Bronchial asthma - peak flow

Diseases & Conditions
Malignant mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma is an uncommon cancerous tumor. It mainly affects the lining of the lung and chest cavity (pleura) or lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). It is due to long-term asbestos exposure...

Diseases & Conditions
Metastatic pleural tumor
Metastatic pleural tumor is a type of cancer that has spread from another organ to the thin membrane (pleura) surrounding the lungs. cancer

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In-depth Report
Narcolepsy
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of narcolepsy.

In-depth Report
Non-small cell lung cancer
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

O

Diseases & Conditions
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS)
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a condition in some obese people in which poor breathing leads to lower oxygen and higher carbon dioxide levels in the blood.

In-depth Report
Obstructive sleep apnea
An in-depth report about the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of obstructive sleep apnea.

Self-Care Instructions
Oxygen safety
COPD - oxygen safety; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - oxygen safety; Chronic obstructive airways disease - oxygen safety; Emphysema - oxygen safety; Heart failure - oxygen-safety; Palliative care...

P

Diseases & Conditions
Parapneumonic pleural effusion
Pleural effusion is a buildup of fluid in the pleural space. The pleural space is the area between the layers of the tissue lining the lung and the chest cavity. Pleural effusion With parapneumonic pleural...

Diseases & Conditions
Pleural effusion
A pleural effusion is a buildup of fluid between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity.

Tests
Pleural fluid Gram stain
The pleural fluid Gram stain is a test to diagnose bacterial infections in the lungs.

Tests
Pleural fluid analysis
Pleural fluid analysis is a test that examines a sample of fluid that has collected in the pleural space. This is the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest...

Tests
Pleural fluid culture
Pleural fluid culture is a test that examines a sample of fluid that has collected in the pleural space to see if you have an infection or understand the cause of buildup of fluid in this space. The pleural...

Tests
Pleural fluid smear
Pleural fluid smear is a laboratory test to check for bacteria, fungi, or abnormal cells in a sample of the fluid that has collected in the pleural space. This is the space between the lining of the outside...

Tests
Pleural needle biopsy
Pleural biopsy is a procedure to remove a sample of the tissue lining, the lungs, and the inside of the chest wall to check for disease or infection.

Diseases & Conditions
Pleurisy
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest (the pleura) that leads to chest pain when you take a breath or cough.

Diseases & Conditions
Pneumomediastinum
Pneumomediastinum is air in the mediastinum. The mediastinum is the space in the middle of the chest, between the lungs and around the heart.

In-depth Report
Pneumonia
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pneumonia.

Diseases & Conditions
Pneumonia - adults (community acquired)
Pneumonia is a breathing (respiratory) condition in which there is an infection of the lung. This article covers community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). This type of pneumonia is found in people who have not...

Special Topics
Positive airway pressure treatment
Positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment uses a machine to pump air under pressure into the airway of the lungs. This helps keep the windpipe open during sleep. The forced air delivered by CPAP prevents...

Diseases & Conditions
Primary alveolar hypoventilation
Primary alveolar hypoventilation is a rare disorder in which a person does not take enough breaths per minute. The lungs and airways are normal.

Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary actinomycosis
Pulmonary actinomycosis is a rare lung infection caused by bacteria.

Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is a rare disease in which a type of protein builds up in the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs, making breathing difficult.  Pulmonary means related to the lungs.

Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary arteriovenous fistula
Pulmonary arteriovenous fistula is an abnormal connection between an artery and vein in the lungs. As a result, blood passes through the lungs without receiving enough oxygen.

Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary aspergilloma
Pulmonary aspergilloma is a mass caused by a fungal infection. It usually grows in lung cavities. It can also appear in the brain, kidney, or other organs.

Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary embolus
A pulmonary embolus is a blockage of an artery in the lungs. The most common cause of the blockage is a blood clot. blood clot

Tests
Pulmonary function tests
Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure breathing and how well the lungs are functioning.

Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. It makes the right side of the heart work harder than normal.

Self-Care Instructions
Pulmonary hypertension - at home

Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary tuberculosis
Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs. It may spread to other organs.

Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease
Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD) is a very rare disease. It leads to high blood pressure in the lung arteries (pulmonary hypertension). pulmonary hypertension

Tests
Pulmonary ventilation/perfusion scan
A pulmonary ventilation/perfusion scan involves two nuclear scan tests to measure breathing (ventilation) and circulation (perfusion) in all areas of the lungs. nuclear scan

R

Symptoms
Rapid shallow breathing
A normal breathing rate for an adult at rest is 8 to 16 breaths per minute. For an infant, a normal rate is up to 44 breaths per minute. Tachypnea is the term that your health care provider uses to describe...

Special Topics
Respiratory
The words "respiratory" and "respiration" refer to the lungs and breathing.

Diseases & Conditions
Respiratory acidosis
Respiratory acidosis is a condition that occurs when the lungs cannot remove all of the carbon dioxide the body produces. This causes body fluids, especially the blood, to become too acidic.

Diseases & Conditions
Respiratory alkalosis
Respiratory alkalosis is a condition marked by a low level of carbon dioxide in the blood due to breathing excessively.

Diseases & Conditions
Rheumatoid lung disease
Rheumatoid lung disease is a group of lung problems related to rheumatoid arthritis. The condition can include: rheumatoid arthritis Blockage of the small airways (bronchiolitis obliterans)Fluid in the...

Diseases & Conditions
Rheumatoid pneumoconiosis
Rheumatoid pneumoconiosis (RP; also known as Caplan syndrome) is swelling (inflammation) and scarring of the lungs. It occurs in people with rheumatoid arthritis who have breathed in dust, such as from...

S

Diseases & Conditions
Sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis is a disease in which inflammation occurs in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin, and/or other tissues.

Self-Care Instructions
Signs of an asthma attack
Asthma attack - signs of; Reactive airway disease - asthma attack; Bronchial asthma - attack

Diseases & Conditions
Silicosis
Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in (inhaling) silica dust.

Diseases & Conditions
Simple pulmonary eosinophilia
Simple pulmonary eosinophilia is inflammation of the lungs from an increase in eosinophils, a type of white blood cell. Pulmonary means related to the lungs.

Symptoms
Skin discoloration - bluish
Cyanosis is a bluish color to the skin or mucous membrane that is usually due to a lack of oxygen in the blood.

Special Topics
Smoking and COPD

Self-Care Instructions
Smoking and asthma

Diseases & Conditions
Solitary fibrous tumor
Solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) is a noncancerous tumor of the lining of the lung and chest cavity, an area called the pleura. SFT used to be called localized fibrous mesothelioma. tumor

Diseases & Conditions
Solitary pulmonary nodule
A solitary pulmonary nodule is a round or oval spot (lesion) in the lung that is seen with a chest x-ray or CT scan. chest x-ray CT scan

Self-Care Instructions
Stay away from asthma triggers
Asthma triggers - stay away from; Asthma triggers - avoiding; Reactive airway disease - triggers; Bronchial asthma - triggers

T

Tests
Thoracentesis
Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest.

Diseases & Conditions
Tracheal rupture
A tracheal or bronchial rupture is a tear or break in the windpipe (trachea) or bronchial tubes, the major airways leading to the lungs. A tear can also occur in the tissue lining the windpipe.

Self-Care Instructions
Tracheostomy care
Respiratory failure - tracheostomy care; Ventilator - tracheostomy care; Respiratory insufficiency - tracheostomy care

Self-Care Instructions
Traveling with breathing problems
Oxygen - travel; Collaped lung - travel; Chest surgery - travel; COPD - travel; Chronic obstructive airways disease - travel; Chronic obstructive lung disease - travel; Chronic bronchitis - travel; Emphysema...

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Self-Care Instructions
Using an incentive spirometer

Self-Care Instructions
Using oxygen at home
Oxygen - home use; COPD - home oxygen; Chronic obstructive airways disease - home oxygen; Chronic obstructive lung disease - home oxygen; Chronic bronchitis - home oxygen; Emphysema - home oxygen; Chronic...

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Using oxygen at home - what to ask your doctor
Oxygen - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor about home oxygen; Hypoxia - oxygen at home

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Symptoms
Wheezing
Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound during breathing. It occurs when air moves through narrowed breathing tubes in the lungs.