By Walter E. Donat, MD, Interim Chief of Care New England Pulmonary Care

A pulmonologist or pulmonary disease specialist is a physician who has vast experience treating people with a wide range of diseases and conditions affecting the lungs and breathing. Some conditions may be mild to severe, easily treated, or complex and unusual. These conditions include, but are not limited to asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, shortness of breath, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism or hypertension, or sleep apnea.

These changes or obstructions to normal breathing patterns can greatly affect sleep, and take a toll on your mental and physical health. Sleep disorders alter the nature of sleep, which in turn alters the breathing pattern, ventilation, and gas exchange. Getting enough “quality” sleep at the right times is vital as it helps your body support healthy brain function.

Some of the benefits of “good” sleep include:

  • Improving concentration and productivity
  • Maximizing athletic performance
  • Improving immune function
  • Aiding in a healthy body weight

Some of the complications involved with “poor sleep” include:

  • An affect on emotions and social interactions
  • Increased inflammation
  • An affect on glucose metabolism, causing individuals to be at risk for Type 2 Diabetes
  • Depression

Kent Hospital, a member of Care New England is proud to introduce three new doctors to their robust pulmonary and sleep medicine program. Through an affiliation between Care New England and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we are as committed as ever to serving the health needs of our community and the region and are continually expanding to meet the ever changing health care demands of our patients. If you or someone you know is experiencing complications related to breathing, we have a team of specialists ready to treat you at three convenient locations in Pawtucket, Warwick, and East Greenwich, or at our sleep laboratory, located on the Kent Hospital campus at 455 Tollgate Road. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, visit us online.