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Lung Disease

Many patients with various lung diseases will end up undiagnosed or with delayed diagnosis, resulting in delayed treatment. These individuals suffer from untreated disease with subtle signs like shortness of breath, diminished exercise ability, difficulty with exertion, and difficulty carrying out day-to-day activities, such as, climbing stairs, carrying loads while shopping, or even walking without exhaustion.

  • Shortness of Breath

    Shortness of breath usually sets in gradually. Often the person does not realize and, when they do, they attribute it to aging, lack of exercise, etc. Thy will typically settle for reducing the level of his or her activities, which only results in further deterioration of the pathology.

    The most common indication of a shortness of breath is a difficulty climbing a flight of stairs without interruption and without huffing and puffing. Similarly, an inability to physically keep up with your peers and friends should be concerning. If you have these symptoms, then chances are that you have an inappropriate shortness of breath usually stemming from a dysfunction of the respiratory system, and you should consult a pulmonary specialist.

  • Fatigue

    Fatigue is characterized by a lack of energy, as well as a lack of motivation or ability to engage in strenuous activity. A fatigued individual may also experience poor memory or difficulty concentrating, which can be caused by too little oxygen flowing through the body or the inability to properly exhale carbon dioxide.

  • Wheezing

    Normally, breathing should be effortless and nearly silent. If breathing becomes noisy or requires excessive effort, then there is a high chance of a pulmonary disorder. Wheezing usually implies abnormal movement of the air through the bronchial tube.

  • Cough

    A cough reflects an irritation of the airways. The causes are numerous and varied and can include bronchial constriction, allergies, mucus production, fluid retention in the airways, certain medications, or local inflammation can all cause coughing. Controlling the cough with medication alone may ease symptoms, but it will not get to the root cause of the cough. Diagnosis and treatment of the cough must address the underlying disorder so that it does not progress. Over time, untreated respiratory disorders can become severe and, ultimately, untreatable.

  • Difficulty Exercising

    In general, a healthy, non-athletic person should be able to easily climb flights of stairs without shortness of breath. A less-active person may not realize how easily winded they can become until they are forced to do more activity than usual, such as walking a few flights of stairs because an elevator is not working.

    Given the importance of the heart and lungs, it is crucial that an individual experiencing difficulty with physical activity or exercise seek expert evaluation of the problem. This evaluation includes a careful review of the patient's history, a physical examination focusing on clinical assessment of the heart and lungs, and proper cardio-pulmonary function and exercise testing.