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6 signs that your LUNGS are in trouble!

Chest pain, prolonged breathlessness and chronic cough are some of the common symptoms of lung damage.

Read this article in HINDI

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But how can you know that your lungs are in danger?

While we consciously take care of most of the organs, we seldom do anything to care for our lungs. Isn't it wrong to take for granted the organ that is responsible for supplying oxygen to the blood cells? Any infection or injury to the lungs not only affects our breathing but can also increase the risk of various respiratory tract diseases like asthma and tuberculosis. Dr Gyanendra Agrawal, Consultant, Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, Jaypee Hospital, Noida, shares a few key signs that indicate your lungs are in danger and that you need to consult a respiratory specialist.

1. Prolonged breathlessness: Whether climbing stairs or performing day-to-day chores, if you feel breathless after physical exertion, it could be a cause of concern. Also, if you find it difficult to run or suffer from breathlessness most of the time, even when lying on a bed, then it is a sign of lung problem. Prolonged breathlessness can be a sign of many respiratory ailments, it can be due to bronchitis, asthma, COPD or cardiac ailments (in severe cases).

2. Excessive mucus production: We usually ignore a productive cough or a cough with sputum. However, if you suffer from productive cough for more than three months, then consult your doctor as it could be a sign of chronic bronchitis. If this is coupled with wheezing or shortness of breath, then it could be a sign of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Hence, if you have been coughing for long, consult your doctor immediately.

3. Blood in the sputum: Another key symptom that indicates lung disease is the presence of blood in the sputum. While changes in the colour of the sputum or mucus can reveal a lot about the health, right from bacterial infection to pneumonia, presence of blood can be a sign of tuberculosis. If you suffer from prolonged cough, low-grade fever and have found streaks of blood in the sputum, get tested for tuberculosis. Here are some possible causes of coughing up blood.

4. Chest pain: You are wrong if you thought that chest pain always signifies heart attack as there s more to chest pain than a heart attack. If you experience a sharp shooting pain in the chest when you breathe, cough or sneeze, it can be due to a lung infection caused by bacteria or virus. In rare cases, it can signify a blood clot in the arteries of the lungs, blocking blood flow to the lungs, knows as pulmonary embolism. Find out the causes of chest pain and deal with it accordingly.

5. Wheezing: A whistling or rattling sound in the lungs or wheezing is undoubtedly a symptom of decreased lung function. It indicates that the lungs are finding it difficult to breathe due to narrowing of the airways or arterial block due to foreign particles. In most cases, wheezing is associated with inflammation due to asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, allergic reaction or physical obstruction caused due to a tumour or a foreign particle.

6. Chronic cough: Last but the most important sign that the lungs are in danger is a chronic cough. While a cough is a common occurrence due to a viral infection or common cold, it should start to improve after two three weeks. However, if it fails to do so and lasts for more than eight weeks, then it is a sign of concern. This is the time you should go to a respiratory specialist and get tested to diagnose the underlying cause of the condition. Some of the common causes of a chronic cough include bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia and tuberculosis. Here's more on when should you start worrying about persistent cough.

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