Early Signs of Lung Disease

2 minute read

By Topic Insight Staff

Many people assume their cough or shortness of breath is part of normal aging, but that’s not always the case – it could be something more sinister. Start a search today to learn the early signs of lung disease — before it’s too late.

There are a variety of lung diseases, and they can all present with symptoms that should prompt a visit to your doctor. Take note of the following lung disease symptoms to ensure you don’t miss a critical warning sign!

Shortness of Breath

Sure, it’s pretty normal to experience shortness of breath (clinically referred to as “dyspnea”) during and shortly after strenuous activities, such as jogging, heavy lifting, or climbing seven flights of stairs. However, the American Lung Association reminds you, “It’s not normal to experience shortness of breath that doesn’t go away after exercising.”1

Persistent Cough

Coughing due to a cold can last a while (anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks), but if you find that coughing has become persistent (or chronic), it might be time to see a doctor to find out why.2

Coughing Up Blood

This condition (known medically as hemoptysis) can be very alarming for a person, and it usually indicates there’s a health problem, explains LungCancer.org.3 As the name of the website suggests, it can be a symptom of lung cancer in particular.

Wheezing

The Mayo Clinic says if you’re wheezing when you’re breathing (as you might’ve guessed, this isn’t normal) it’s likely due to asthma and COPD, both of which narrow your airways.4

Fingernails are Blue

When our fingers or lips turn blue, it means there is something wrong with our blood circulation. Blue fingernails are a common symptom of lung disease, particularly in people with COPD because their tissues are not getting enough oxygen.5

Shoulder Pain

You might be experiencing some shoulder pain after a tough workout at the gym or roughing it up on the field during a sports game, and it’s probably due to inflammation or a strained muscle. But shoulder pain that comes on without any explanation is worrisome.

No Symptoms

There is nothing more scary than a serious health condition that comes with no warning signs or symptoms. Reader’s Digest talked to Andrea McKee, MD, who warns that early stage lung cancer typically presents no symptoms at all.6

If a patient has lung cancer and is experiencing symptoms elsewhere in the body, it typically means the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body (a condition referred to as metastasis).

Topic Insight Staff

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