When breathing becomes difficult you can take a deep breath knowing that the experts at Tufts Medicine are here to help. Breathing is something we often take for granted, but don't worry, we've got your back when it gets tough.
Breathe easier with our expertise
If you have trouble breathing, it is critical for you to get the right diagnosis, treatment and relief. Your respiratory (breathing) issue could be a brief illness–like the common cold or flu – or something that you will manage throughout your life, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, sleep-related disorders or lung cancer. We are dedicated to bringing you the most advanced care possible.
Living your life to the fullest if you have a respiratory issue is important. While some respiratory infections may require a simple, over-the-counter medication, other conditions may need to be managed, possibly for a lifetime.
To determine the cause of your respiratory condition and fully understand how it's affecting you, we will start with a physical exam and then conduct diagnostic tests to measure your breathing capacity and
- How much air you can take into your lungs and how fast you can blow the air out (spirometry)
- How much air you exhale and how much air is left in your lungs after you exhale (lung volumes)
- How much oxygen is transported from your lungs to your blood (lung diffusion)
You may be tested before and after taking inhaled medication and may be asked to repeat the tests from time to time as part of your treatment plan. We may also order other tests to help diagnose your lung disease, including:
- Arterial blood gas (ABG) test
- Complete pulmonary function test
- Methacholine challenge test (MIC)
- Pulmonary function testing (PFT)
- Pulse oximetry
These tests help us come up with just the right plan for you. We will then partner with your care team to determine the best treatment options for you.
Your care plan is key when it comes to relieving or managing your condition. We’ll develop a personalized treatment plan that may include:
- Aerosol therapy
- Airway management
- Chest physical therapy (CPT)
- Croup tents
- Incentive spirometry
- Inhaled medications (inhalers)
- Lung expansion treatments
- Management of life support services
- Oxygen therapy
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
We work around your lifestyle and can provide education on metered dose inhalers with a spacer (a device that holds medication until you breathe it in) and home peak flow monitoring (a device for monitoring and controlling asthma).