Most Common Respiratory Disease Symptoms
Every one of us experienced shortness of breath or cough at some point in life. But when they occur for a long time or have some characteristics, they could be a warning sign of a medical condition. In this topic, let’s discuss some common respiratory disease symptoms.
Before diving into respiratory disorder symptoms, let’s discuss a bit about respiratory diseases. Many people want to stay healthy but rarely think about protecting the lungs. Respiratory related diseases and care needs much attention.
What Are Respiratory Diseases?
Diseases affecting lungs and other body parts involved in breathing (such as throat, windpipe, voice box, nose and nasal cavity, sinuses, diaphragm, bronchioles, alveoli, and capillaries) are called respiratory diseases. The most common respiratory disorders are asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, and lung cancer.
A recent World Health Organization report mentioned the respiratory diseases chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), lower respiratory tract infections, trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers in the top 10 causes of death globally.
Common Respiratory Disease Symptoms To Look Out For
1. Shortness Of Breath (Dyspnea)
Having difficulty in breathing or feeling suffocated is one of the common respiratory disorder symptoms. The lung disorders asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumonia can cause shortness of breath. Although extreme temperatures, high altitudes and exercise can cause this symptom in a healthy human.
Except for lung disorders, heart disorders may also cause shortness of breath. People with lung disorders usually experience shortness of breath when they physically exert themselves. When the disease becomes severe, this symptom can also happen at rest.
Cough is a protective reflex that usually helps clear the inhaled particles. But it is important to know when to visit a doctor. Cough occurs commonly in respiratory disorders such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, upper respiratory tract infection, COPD, and pneumonia.
If you have a cough which lasts longer than a week, have an extremely painful cough, or have a history of heart diseases, or cough is accompanied by fever, wheezing, chest tightness, or night sweats, you need to visit a doctor.
3. Coughing Up Blood
A cough that brings blood may come from the upper respiratory tract or lungs. It can be a sign of a severe medical condition. Coughing up blood accompanied by weight loss, fever, and night sweats may be a sign of tuberculosis. Other lung disorders which can cause blood cough are bronchitis, COPD, pneumonia, and lung cancer. Visit a health care professional to know the exact cause if you cough with blood.
Wheezing is one of the common respiratory disease symptoms. Wheezing occurs when airways are partially blocked or narrowed. The most common reasons for wheezing are asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder. It can also result from minor issues such as breathing in cold air, but it is essential to get medically checked when you experience wheezing.
5. Chronic Chest Pain
Chest pain that exists for a month or more particularly worsens when you breathe or cough is a warning sign of respiratory diseases. Inflammation of the membrane lining the lungs, blood clots in the lungs, and pulmonary hypertension (raised blood pressure in the lung arteries) are the common causes of lung-related chest pain. In many cases, chest pain is associated with heart disorders. Whatever the cause, don’t ignore chest pain and get treated right away.
6. Chronic Mucus Production
Mucus, known as phlegm or sputum, can help the body expel irritants and it is one of the common respiratory disorder symptoms. It commonly occurs in respiratory disorders such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and bronchiectasis. Smoke exposure or allergies can also cause chronic mucus production. Long term excess mucus secretion can damage the airways. If your mucus production has lasted more than one month or you are coughing up tan, yellow or green mucus, you should see a healthcare professional.
The Bottom Line
Most of us already know that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, but smoking is also linked to other lung disorders such as COPD and asthma. “Smoke away your worries, Not your lungs”.
Avoid exposure to workplace chemicals. Exercise is the amazing thing you can do to keep your lungs healthy and stronger. Both muscle strengthening and aerobic activities can benefit the lungs. Practice, good hygiene practices to stay away from infections. Care for your lungs, because when you cannot breathe, nothing else matters.