Pneumology, Interview with Dr. Luca Ferrara

Pneumology: how is it possible to prevent the onset of lung diseases?

In pneumology, prevention plays a fundamental role in all fields of medicine, it must be carried out at the level of the respiratory system essentially through a careful and accurate anamnesis, reconstructing the patient's history and trying to understand and understand what may have been professional pathologies in relation to the activity carried out by the patient himself. In principle, a smoker who has twenty years of smoking must be subjected to a series of examinations including chest X-ray in two projections. From a careful observation of this radiogram can start a series of screenings that it can be based on the study of lung function for example through a global spirometry with reversibility tests to make a staging of the degree of dyspnea of the smoker, and to be able to intervene with a therapy designed to block the process that inevitably turned towards a picture of respiratory failure.

When is it recommended to do a lung check-up and how to proceed?

By booking an appointment at our center it is possible to book a pneumological screening based on a study of the patient's history and through a series of specialized examinations.

In the presence of a persistent cough, what tests would be good to carry out?

It is important to try to make a differential diagnosis between the different pathologies that can cause a cough. Cough is not always of respiratory origin. There is a large presence of patients who are sent to us for a persistent cough, a cough sometimes angry and constant, present over time or at certain times throughout the day. This cough sometimes depends on other factors external to what may be the respiratory tree, for example a hypertensive patient who uses antihypertensive drugs, a class of drugs that as a side effect give a stinging cough. It is sufficient to replace this drug with another class of similar drugs to be able to assist in the disappearance of the symptom within a few days. Sometimes, often, there are patients who turn to cough that occurs during the night hours or at certain times of the day in relation to meals. It is a gastroesophageal reflux cough that is treated with a therapy based on anti-acids and with precautions from the point of view of food and lifestyle habits. For example, dine earlier in the evening, avoid spicy foods and heated sauces and sleep more relieved.

Does Salvator Mundi also specialize in pediatric pulmonology?

The Salvator Mundi can not only count on a highly qualified staff but is also specialized in the treatment and therapies of diseases of the respiratory system in the pediatric field and also in the pediatric allergy field.

What do you recommend to an inveterate smoker who has never carried out checks?

An inveterate smoker must undergo a pneumological examination, must take a chest X-ray at least every two years. He must do respiratory function tests to frame his obstructive and restrictive problem and to be able to intervene in a specific pharmacological way in order to reduce his breathlessness.

Can snoring be the symptom of respiratory pathologies?

Snoring can be a symptom of great importance. Often these patients arrive too late to a diagnosis of sleep apnea syndrome, they are patients who wake up tired in the morning essentially not rested because they have not had a restful sleep, they are patients who are often brought by partners who during the night attend real sleep apnea breaks. During these apneas there is a decrease in oxygenation with important damage not only on the cardiological side but also on the neurological side. Important in these cases is to resort to a specialist and perhaps carry out a cardio-respiratory study or maybe even a polysomnography to see how many apneas there are, how much oxygenation decreases during these apneas and be able to intervene through a unobstruction of the respiratory tract through the help of an otolaryngologist, and in cases not responding to these therapies, through the use of a non-invasive mechanical ventilation, called CPUP, which is able to keep the respiratory tract open, thus preventing patients from snoring and having drops in oxygenation during the night hours.

Is sleep apnea dangerous?

It is very dangerous because it is a pathology often overlooked, and often it comes to the diagnosis too late when the damage is done. Many traffic accidents are caused by this problem, since one of the most common consequences is falling asleep at the wheel.

What does it mean to have breathlessness at rest?

It can be the symptom of various pathologies, from heart failure to a respiratory problem that only through an adequate visit and a respiratory test can be framed, studied and treated appropriately.

Is emphysema treatable?

Pulmonary emphysema is linked to smoking. It must be diagnosed and treated. It can be treated with medication and respiratory physiotherapy.

Waking up at night with coughing and lack of air what does it mean?

In many cases asthmatic crisis or sleep apnea.

How do you recognize pneumonia from a simple cough?

A good visit can frame the problem and the help of a radiogram can diagnose pneumonia with certainty.

Does lifestyle improve breathing?

Of course, starting with the elimination of smoking.

What tests must a worker exposed to dust and harmful substances do?

A complete screening of respiratory status: from radiography to high-resolution CT scan. Through a therapeutic treatment it is therefore possible to heal any infections.

Is it true that if we stop smoking, we gain weight?

No. It is certainly necessary to improve diet and introduce physical activity. This allows and helps to avoid weight gain when we stop smoking.

If in the spring I have sneezing and tearing, does it mean that I have an allergy?

Certainly these are symptoms of allergy. Already in the anamnesis it is understood whether the allergy is to pollen or dust, depending on whether it occurs outdoors or indoors. An allergy test allows us to identify allergenic agents, and to intervene with the vaccine to desensitize the patient with respect to these allergies.

Spirometry, how do you prepare?

Preparation is important. We perform a bronchodilation test and go to give a personalized therapy. The day before the exam it is necessary to suspend the inhalation therapies to have a more faithful examination.

What does coughing mean in a child?

It has the meaning of asthmatic equivalence. Not all asthmatic children hiss but sometimes coughing has meant asthma since coughing is a pressure effort to keep the bronchus open. Repeated dry cough in sleep can mean that we are in the presence of asthma.