Pulmonary Disease

Looking for a pulmonologist in San Diego?

Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups has a comprehensive list of doctors specializing in pulmonary health. Pulmonology is a subspecialty of internal medicine and is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases of the lungs and airways. Pulmonary disease physicians, or pulmonologists, offer a range of diagnosis and treatment options for complex respiratory problems. Many pulmonologists also provide critical care medicine treatment.

Not everyone who has a chronic respiratory disease needs to see a pulmonologist, and many may be treated by an internal medicine doctor. Pulmonologists are usually needed for complex conditions and diseases of the chest, such as asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema, or chest infections. Pulmonologists also treat conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary complications of AIDS, and pulmonary hypertension, among many other complex respiratory disorders.

Pulmonologists are trained to perform specialized procedures to view, monitor, or obtain test samples of the lung or lining of the chest wall. One common procedure involves the use of flexible fiber optics to see the inside of a patient’s air passages and extract samples for lab work. Another useful procedure is angiographic visualization, which involves looking at the blood vessels in the lungs by injecting dye into the pulmonary arteries. Pulmonologists do not typically perform major surgical procedures, which are usually done by a thoracic surgeon.

Asthma vs. COPD image

Asthma vs. COPD

Asthma and COPD are both chronic respiratory diseases that cause chronic coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Despite similar symptoms, the diseases are distinct and require separate treatment.

To differentiate between asthma and COPD, a pulmonologist may look at:

  • The age of the patient
  • Response to treatment
  • Triggers / exacerbation
  • Co-morbidities
Infectious Lung Diseases image

Infectious Lung Diseases

Infectious lung diseases are often caused by viruses, but can also be caused by bacteria or fungal organisms. With rest and sometimes antibiotics, most conditions improve in a few weeks.

Chronic and/or resistant infections may require specialist care. Signs include:

  • Fever more than a week
  • Cough more than 3 weeks
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Coughing up blood
  • Symptoms return when you stop taking antibiotics
Lung Cancer image

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs, which do not develop into healthy tissue. Instead, these cancer cells typically form tumors and disturb the normal function of the lungs.

Roughly 87% of lung cancer cases are smoking-related. Other risk factors include:

  • Exposure to industrial substances like arsenic or asbestos
  • Radiation exposure
  • Air pollution
  • Tuberculosis
search for prescriotion discounts
Compare RX costs

TRY: Lipitor · Cialis · Lexapro

Find a Pulmonologist near you

Search ›

Doctors who can help


Robert T. Savage, MD

Pulmonary Disease


Brian T. Tabila, MD

Pulmonary Disease


William W. Hooper, MD

Pulmonary Disease


Luis F. Sanchez, MD

Pulmonary Disease


Joseph R. Resnikoff, MD

Pulmonary Disease


Ni-Cheng Liang, MD

Pulmonary Disease


Marisa M. Magana, MD

Pulmonary Disease