Pulmonology - Rheumatology
The focus of respiratory care is to provide relief to individuals suffering from chronic lung and airway diseases, as well as for those who have had a stroke, traumatic injury or heart attack that affected respiration. Respiratory care may take place in a hospital setting, a doctor's office or even within a patient's home.
Reasons for Respiratory Care
Respiratory care services provide long-term therapy for patients of all ages with chronic respiratory illness. Respiratory illnesses include conditions of the upper respiratory tract, trachea and bronchi, as well as the nerves and muscles that impact breathing. These illnesses range in severity and may be triggered by a variety of factors, including infection following a viral illness, smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke and as a response to cold weather.
Respiratory illnesses are diagnosed through a series of tests, during which blood samples may be collected. This diagnostic testing will help determine the specific respiratory illness that is affecting the patient, the severity of the respiratory dysfunction and appropriate treatments.
Rheumatology refers to a series of disorders that affect the joints, muscles and bones. Doctors that treat rheumatology disorders are known as rheumatologists. Rheumatologists treat patients with clinical problems that may involve the joints, soft tissues, autoimmune disorders, and connective tissue disorders. Treatment for rheumatology disorders varies but may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and a range of different medications.
Research has indicated that many rheumatic diseases are also autoimmune disorders that are the result of the immune system attacking healthy tissue within the body. This in turn causes inflammation that leads to swelling in muscles and joints, making them progressively less mobile and functional. Other research has indicated that rheumatic diseases may also be the result of both genetic and environmental causes.
There are many different types of rheumatic diseases, some of which may be chronic or life-threatening. Rheumatic disease may cause swelling, stiffness, or pain in the skin, muscles, tendons and bones. Certain types of rheumatic diseases may also affect connective tissue and internal organs.