A stubborn cough or excess phlegm may seem like no big deal, but these minor symptoms could actually be signs of much more serious conditions. Paying attention to symptoms is crucially important to catching lung disease before it is too serious. Knowing these warning signs can help you catch and treat lung disease while it is still in the early stages.
Lung diseases such as asthma, COPD, and lung cancer can first appear as coughs or shortness of breath. Knowing these warning signs puts you in a position to notify a pulmonary disease specialist and detect these conditions before it is too late.
Warning Signs of Lung Disease:
Shortness of Breath: Breathlessness or shortness of breath can be described as difficulty or discomfort breathing. It is also sometimes described as “tightness in the chest.” The medical term for shortness of breath is dyspnea. It is not only a symptom of being out of shape, but it could point to more serious lung conditions such as asthma, COPD, etc.
Chronic Cough: A cough is considered chronic if it has been ailing the patient for a month or more. Coughing is a normal reflex of the body that helps expel irritants from the airway and lungs, but a persistent, chronic cough could be a sign of a serious lung disease.
Chronic Mucus Production: Much like a cough, mucus, also called phlegm or sputum, is a naturally occurring function of the body that protects from infections or irritants. But, chronic mucus production in the lungs is an indication that the body is fighting something off, and could be a warning sign of a more serious condition. Persistent mucus producing coughs that last for a month or longer could be signs of lung disease.
Coughing up blood: Blood in a cough could come from the lungs or upper respiratory tract. No matter where it comes from, a bloody cough is a sign of a health problem, and possibly a serious one.
Wheezing: Noisy breathing or wheezing is not just a symptom of being out of shape; it is a sign that something is blocking your airways or making them too narrow.
Chronic chest pain: Chest pain that has lasted for a month or more, even if it is minor, is a warning sign for lung disease. Especially if you have chest pain when you breathe in or cough there is likely an issue with your respiratory tract.
Tell your doctor if you have these warning signs, as early detection of them could make treating lung disease much easier. The experts at Pulmonary Associates of Brandon are equipped to diagnose and treat a variety of pulmonary diseases and conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, acute and chronic respiratory failure, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, lung infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and sleep disorders.