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Internal Medicine & Medical Specialties > Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Why Choose Wayne Health for Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine?

Wayne Health’s Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Clinics provide primary and specialty care for those with diseases of the respiratory system or sleep-related disorders. Our team also specializes in the care of critically ill patients requiring hemodynamic (blood circulation) monitoring or procedures.

We are dedicated to serving the medical needs of residents of the Detroit metropolitan area, surrounding communities and beyond.

A comprehensive approach for all causes of respiratory conditions

Our team of physicians has long-standing experience and expertise in the evaluation and treatment of patients with a variety of lung diseases. We take a holistic approach to evaluating  patients, taking the time to go over your symptoms and to review previous testing. We create a treatment plan based upon your needs and your goals for care, taking the time to explain our approach and to educate you in the process.

We offer a wide range of diagnostic testing options for patients with respiratory conditions, including:

  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Home oxygen evaluation
  • Exercise testing
  • Echocardiograms
  • Bronchoscopy (video procedure in which we look inside your lungs)
  • Imaging studies, such as chest X-rays and CAT scans of the lungs
  • Sleep studies

We also offer access to respiratory therapy programs, such as:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Asthma education/therapy
  • CPAP management

An accredited sleep center in southeast Michigan

The sleep specialists at Wayne Health practice at the Detroit Receiving Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, which is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  AASM accreditation is awarded to centers that can demonstrate a high standard of medical care for patients with sleep disorders.

Wayne Health Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine Services Offered

Wayne Health doctors specialize in the treatment of a wide range of respiratory disorders affecting individuals or their families, including:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema
  • Cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis
  • Mycobacterial diseases, including tuberculosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Lung mass/lung nodule
  • Sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Thoracic (chest) cancer

The Wayne Health physician leaders of these programs are recognized regionally and nationally for their expertise in these areas of medicine.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a general term for a group of lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD have decreased airflow in and out of the lungs, which makes it hard to breathe. The airways also can get clogged with thick mucus. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of COPD.

Although there is no cure for COPD, you can slow its progress. Following your treatment plan and taking care of yourself can help you feel better and live longer.


What are the symptoms of asthma?

When you have asthma, you may:

  • Wheeze, making a loud or soft whistling noise when you breathe in and out
  • Cough a lot. This is the only symptom for some people.
  • Feel tightness in your chest
  • Feel short of breath. You may have rapid, shallow breathing or trouble breathing.
  • Have trouble sleeping because you’re coughing or having a hard time breathing
  • Get tired quickly during exercise

Symptoms may start soon after you’re around things (triggers) that cause your asthma attacks. This is an early-phase response. Or they may start several hours after exposure (late-phase response). A late-phase response can make it harder to figure out what triggers your symptoms.

Symptoms can be mild or severe. You may have symptoms daily or just now and then. Or you may have something in between.

Some people have symptoms that get worse at night, such as a cough and shortness of breath.

Risk Factors

What puts you at risk for asthma?

You may be more likely to have asthma if:

  • Someone in your family has allergies or asthma
  • You have an allergy. Asthma is much more common in people who have allergies, though not everyone with allergies gets asthma. And not everyone with asthma has allergies.

Other things that may put you at risk for asthma include:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Pollution
  • Workplace irritants or allergens, such as wood dust, plastics and chemicals
  • Allergens, such as dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander

These same things can make your symptoms worse if you have asthma.


Wayne Health doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of respiratory conditions, including:

  • New or Persistent Cough – Cough may be related to a minor infection or a sign of a serious disorder, especially if it lasts more than four weeks
  • Shortness of Breath – Shortness of breath that limits your ability to perform daily activities, or that comes after little or no exertion, may be a warning sign of a serious respiratory disorder
  • Chronic Mucus Production – Mucus, also called sputum or phlegm, is a defense response to infections or irritants.  If your mucus production has lasted a month, this could indicate lung disease.
  • Wheezing – Noisy breathing that sometimes sounds like whistling is a sign that something is blocking your air passages or making them too narrow
  • Coughing up Blood  – Coughing up blood may indicate a serious problem with the lungs or the air passages and should be investigated.
  • Chronic Chest Pain – Unexplained chest pain that lasts for a month or more can also be a warning sign, especially if it gets worse when you breathe in or cough
  • Smoking and Smoking Cessation – Smoking causes serious health problems and quitting requires commitment from the patient and counseling, as well as medications provided by our expert physicians
  • Complications During Air Travel – Our experts can assess the risk of air travel and help prevent complications for people with chronic health issues, such as heart or lung disease.
  • Abnormal Chest X-ray or CAT Scan – If your chest X-ray, CAT scan or any other lung imaging test has any abnormality, our experts can advise you on the seriousness of the abnormality and what should be done about it.
  • Home Oxygen Therapy – If you have a chronic lung disease, our experts can help you understand why you need oxygen treatment and how to receive it.

Sleep medicine is a particular area of expertise for Wayne Health. The following symptoms may be an indication that you have a sleep disorder:

  • Snoring – Chronic habitual snoring may indicate obstructive sleep apnea; our experts will arrange a sleep study.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness – Being excessively sleepy during the daytime can result from a variety of sleep disorders; our experts can assess for these and arrange appropriate testing.
  • Insomnia – The inability to fall or stay asleep at night can lead to daytime symptoms, such as fatigue and napping; our experts will help you get a better night of sleep.

Wayne Health's Approach to Treatment

How is asthma treated?

Asthma is treated with medicine to help you breathe easier, along with self-care.

Medicines used to treat asthma include:

Daily controller medicine

This medicine prevents asthma attacks. It helps stop problems before they happen. It also reduces inflammation in your lungs. These things help you control your asthma. A daily controller medicine isn’t used to treat an asthma attack because it works too slowly.

Short-acting (quick-relief) medicine

This medicine is for times when you can’t prevent symptoms and need to treat them fast. It helps relax the airways and allows you to breathe easier. You use them only when you need to.

Oral or injected corticosteroids (systemic corticosteroids)

These medicines get your asthma under control before you start to take daily medicine. You may also need them to treat asthma attacks.

Treatment also includes things you can do to control your symptoms, like avoiding your triggers and following your asthma action plan.

Advancing Research and Medical Education

Wayne Health physicians and researchers are faculty members at Wayne State University School of Medicine who conduct basic, translational and clinical research. This makes the latest treatments and clinical trials available to you sooner than other providers without a medical school affiliation. Some of our areas of research include:

  • Sarcoidosis
  • Complications of bone marrow transplant/oncologic therapies
  • Sleep medicine

The WSU Sleep Research Laboratory’s areas of research interest include control of breathing during sleep, the role of gender in the biological origin of sleep-disordered breathing, and upper airway mechanics during sleep.

For more information, please visit the links below at the WSU School of Medicine.

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