Pulmonology is a branch of medicine and a subspecialty of internal medicine. It specialises in the treatment of diseases that affect the respiratory system. It deals with all disorders of the lungs, upper airways, thoracic cavity, and the chest wall. It also deals with all problems that involve the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli.
Pulmonology is also part of intensive care medicine because it involves providing life support and mechanical ventilation to patients who need them. It is also known as pneumology and respiratory medicine.
Doctors who specialise in pulmonology are called pulmonologists. Those who specialise in treating young patients are called paediatric pulmonologists. In addition, those who perform lung surgery for the treatment of lung diseases are called thoracic surgeons.
Most respiratory problems can be treated by general physicians, doctors specialising in internal medicine, and paediatricians. The expertise of pulmonologists become necessary if the patient has an unknown and undiagnosed disorder. Their services are also required in the management of unusual and complicated respiratory diseases.