Many of us have suffered a cough that just wouldn’t quit. They can be very disruptive to everyday life.
But sometimes that cough is merely a symptom of something far more serious. It’s very hard to tell.
And if you have a condition like Asthma, or you are a smoker, chances are, you would ignore a cough anyway. But you shouldn’t ignore coughs for many reasons.
A cough is just one of many COPD symptoms that are very serious. COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can be very debilitating. It is a term applied to a number of chronic, long-term, lung conditions. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common illnesses in this group.
The type of cough you might expect with these conditions is often wheezy and productive. Mucus could be clear or colored, and it may often be difficult to shift away from your throat too. You might feel short of breath and suffer colds quite frequently. A general feeling of weakness and a tight chest are also symptoms of COPD.
A Pulmonologist will be able to accurately diagnose your condition if your own doctor feels there is a serious problem with your lungs. As an expert, a Pulmonologist will also be able to offer medication to help manage the condition. Often symptoms flare up as a result of an infection, or even an irritation to the lungs like a cold.
If you have a cough that won’t ease despite over the counter medications, it is best to see your doctor. Whether you are a smoker or not, coughs should not be ignored. When you are not breathing well, chances are your body is unable to manage oxygen intake properly. Symptoms of this include blue fingernails or blue-tinged lips. Arterial blood gas analyses help to identify if this is indeed the case.
Smokers are certainly more prone to illnesses of the lungs. It is not yet certain if users of e-cigarettes are more at risk than non-smokers. However, the environment in which you live or work can also increase your chances of suffering lung disease. Smoky or polluted atmospheres can cause breathing difficulties. Regular exposure to damp conditions and mold spores will also pose a risk.
So what do you need to look out for? Most of us make an effort to stay fit and healthy. If you’re finding that your regular level of exercise is getting tougher to keep up, there may be a problem. If you’re ill but find that you also have a tightness in your chest, this can be something to speak to your doctor about. When we are off work with illness, we tend to do less physically so we may not notice that there is a problem taking deeper breaths.
COPD symptoms can also be symptoms of other, non-serious conditions. However, if you are ever concerned, you should seek your doctor’s advice. The lungs are very important for the whole body to function correctly, so it is essential to look after them as best we can.