Millions of people are diagnosed every year with a lung disease, while many more may go undiagnosed. There are specific signs and symptoms characteristic of lung disease. The following is a list of lung disease symptoms and signs, and a description of each.
Coughing is a defense mechanism that is used to clear the airways of mucus, inhale toxins, or a foreign body. Coughs can be productive or unproductive depending on how it is done. A productive cough should result in the clearing of mucus or secretions from the airways. Persistent or worsening cough hay be accompanied by a high fever, dyspnea, or bloody or copious sputum requiring immediate medical attention. Coughing is one of the most common lung disease symptoms.
Dyspnea (shortness of breath) is sometimes a result of a problem with the respiratory system, heart disease, anxiety, or other condition. Sudden bouts of shortness of breath, particularly if is is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, may indicate disease, and should be evaluated by a doctor immediately. Shortness of breath is NOT a natural part of aging. It should be taken seriously and reported to your doctor.
Wheezing is a high pitched sound produced while inhaling or exhaling. It occurs when airways are narrowed or obstructed by abnormal tissue or inflammation, excessive secretions or mucus, or when a foreign material has been inhaled and is obstructing the airways. Wheezing may also be a signal that a lung condition is worsening.
Chest pain generally indicates a problem in the lungs, pleura, or muscles and bones of the chest wall. The problem may be minor or severe, or even life-threatening, and may be constant or experienced only during inhalation. Pain in the chest may indicate infection if it is accompanied by cough or fever. If you are experiencing chest pain, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Hemoptysis (coughing up blood) may appear as pinkish froth, mucus with a bloody streak or clot, or pure blood. It may occur as a result of a persistent cough or it may be indicative of a serious lung disease. Hemoptysis is a serious lung disease symptom.
Cyanosis is when the skin becomes a bluish or purplish color, most apparent around the lips and nail beds. It is a sign that the blood is not receiving enough oxygen. Cyanosis may appear suddenly as a result of acute lung disease or slowly as lung disease progressively worsens.
Swelling of the arms, legs, and ankles may indicate lung disease. Swelling is typically associated with heart disease and accompanied by shortness of breath. Many times, the heart and lungs produce similar symptoms because many disorders affect both organs.
Respiratory failure is the most severe sign of lung disease, acute and chronic. Acute respiratory failure may be due to massive infection, lung inflammation, cessation of the heartbeat, or severe lung disease. Chronic respiratory failure is when the lungs cannot oxygenate the blood and/or remove carbon dioxide normally.
Lung disease not only affects seniors, it also affects the young. In fact, lung disease and other lung infections and illnesses are the number one killer of infants.
Smoking has a tremendous effect on our bodies. It not only causes lung diseases, such as emphysema, COPD and lung cancer, but it also has detrimental effects on many other parts of the body.
Source: Portal Content Team