A cough that just won’t go away, laboured breathing when you climb stairs, and hoarseness can be big signs that your lungs could be in trouble. Here are the things you need to know about all the loud and silent signs; including the sometimes unexpected symptoms of lung disease.
You Cough up Blood
This is one of the most alarming symptoms of lung disease and will likely send you straight to the doctor. The blood may be bright red or more brown and mucus-y.
While this symptom can be a sign of lung cancer, it doesn’t mean you have it. Many other things can cause you to cough up blood, from the benign (a pulled abdominal muscle) to chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Regardless, this is not something to ignore or brush aside in fear of what’s really going on. Talk to your doctor immediately.
You Have Swelling, Pain, and Tenderness in One Leg
At first glance, this symptom doesn’t look like it will be related to your lungs. However, these leg problems could be a sign that you have deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in your leg.
The risk here is that the blood clot could break off and get into your lung, a condition called a pulmonary embolism. A clot in your lung can block blood flow and cause serious damage.
Other clues include shortness of breath, problems breathing, and chest pain. It’s important to get help as soon as you can because research has shown that 30 percent of patients with this condition die.
You’re Short of Breath
A cold or flu can really do a number on you. If you have an underlying lung issue, if you’re under a lot of stress or dealing with a significant life event, you’re more prone to developing a bacterial infection on top of your cold.
And compromised lung function can become bacterial pneumonia or bronchitis. You’ll need a medical evaluation to determine the problem and antibiotics to recover.
You Use The Elevator Instead of the Stairs
If you feel as if your breathing is laboured during normal activities and you’ve developed a chronic cough without first having a cold or have shortness of breath, your doctor may test for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
It is the third leading cause of death in the United States. And while 11 million people have been diagnosed, many more people have no idea they have it—particularly women. More so, many people think that shortness of breath while walking across a parking lot simply happens as you age, but this isn’t a normal toll of getting older.
If you feel like you can’t take a breath, or air isn’t getting down to your lungs, you need to see a doctor. Your doctor will want to rule out potential diseases like COPD or even anaemia which can be detected with a simple blood test.
Another possible cause of wheezing is adult-onset asthma, which is more severe than asthma that develops in childhood, according to research in the European Respiratory Review. In fact, 10 percent of adults over 65 may have it, and it may be triggered by conditions like chronic sinusitis.