Diagnosing NTM can be difficult because the symptoms of NTM are common and can be mistaken for other lung conditions. Also, NTM is a rare disease. It’s so rare that some doctors may not be familiar with it.
If you think you have NTM, ask your doctor if you should be referred to a Pulmonologist or an Infectious Disease (ID) Specialist. Pulmonologists and ID Specialists are doctors who have special training with lung infections and are more likely to be familiar with testing for and treating NTM.
However, because NTM is rare, you may find that some specialists have limited NTM experience. This is why you may want to consider finding a specialist who has experience caring for people with NTM.
Doctors with special training in all kinds of infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
Diagnosing NTM can get you on the road to feeling better. Talking to a pulmonologist or an infectious disease specialist about your symptoms is the first step.
When you see your specialist,
he or she may do the following:
If you test positive for NTM lung infection, your doctor will decide what your next step is, including potential treatment options. You will need to continue seeing your doctor regularly so he or she can monitor your lungs.