Don't ignore these warning signs
A cough that just won’t go away, laboured breathing when you climb stairs and hoarseness can cause alarms to go off. Here’s what you need to know about these and the sometimes unexpected symptoms of lung disease.
You have swelling, pain and tenderness in one leg
At first glance, this doesn’t seem like it would be among the symptoms of lung disease. But these leg problems could be a sign that you have deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in your leg, says Andrea McKee, MD. McKee sits on the American Lung Association’s (ALA) Lung Cancer Expert Medical Advisory Panel and works with the ALA’s LUNG FORCE initiative to help raise awareness and educate women about lung cancer.
The risk here is that the blood clot could break off and get into your lung, a condition called a pulmonary embolism. A clot in your lung can block blood flow and cause serious damage. Other clues include shortness of breath, problems breathing, and chest pain. (But you may also have no lung symptoms.) It’s important to get help as soon as you can because 30 percent of patients with this condition die, reports the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
You’re short of breath
A cold or flu can really do a number on you. “If you have an underlying lung issue or if you’re under a lot of stress or dealing with a significant life event, you’re more prone to developing a bacterial infection on top of your cold,” says Dr McKee. And compromised lung function can become bacterial pneumonia or bronchitis. You’ll need a medical evaluation to determine the problem and antibiotics to recover.