A respiratory physician, or pulmonologist, specialises in the treatment and management of diseases affecting the respiratory system. The respiratory system involves everything that helps you breathe. It is made up of three main sections: the airway, the lungs, and the respiratory muscles. Respiratory physicians can treat diseases as common as asthma, to more severe illnesses, such as tuberculosis.
If you’re experiencing any unusual symptoms with your breathing, or discomfort in your chest, you should first see your GP or other primary care doctor. Your primary care doctor will assess your symptoms and may then refer you to a respiratory specialist. You are likely to be referred if you are having difficulty breathing, have a persistent cough, regularly cough up mucus or blood, smoke, have unexplained weight loss, or have trouble exercising due to breathing issues.