There are times when feeling breathless is expected; for example, exerting yourself too much when jogging. At other times, it could be a sign of lung cancer. Which activities make you out of breath?
Going about your day will involve day-to-day tasks, such as carrying the food shop into your home.
The British Lung Foundation (BLF) noted that feeling breathless during such an activity could be an indication of lung cancer.
The charity explained that “feeling out of breath when doing day-to-day tasks” is a symptom of the condition.
This feeling of breathlessness can also appear when “at rest” – these two signs require medical attention from your GP.
Breathlessness may be accompanied by chest pain, feeling tired, or unexplained weight loss.
Other signs of lung cancer include a cough, lots of chest infections, appetite loss and a horse voice.
Another warning sign is finding blood in your mucus or phlegm. However, these could be present in people with long-term lung disease.
If you do have lung disease, it’s critical to inform your actor if your usual symptoms change or worsen.
What’s lung disease?
Otherwise known as chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD), MedicAlert states how the condition “makes it increasingly more difficult to breathe”.
The progressive condition includes chronic bronchitis (long-term inflammation of the airways).
In addition, COPD also includes emphysema, which is damage to the air sacks.
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This preventable disease is common in smokers, as well as those who have been exposed to lung irritants over a long period of time.
Asthma can also trigger the onset of COPD, as can exposure to second-hand smoke.
Many people with the condition only begin to notice symptoms in their late 40s/early 50s.
Typical symptoms are: breathlessness, frequent chest infections, wheezing, and a phlegmy, chesty cough.
These symptoms worsen over time, making it harder for a person to carry out physical activities.
Other signs of the condition include chest pain, fatigue, weight loss and swollen ankles.
The respiratory condition may flare-up during the winter months, and there is no cure.
The damage to the lungs caused by COPD is irreversible and permanent, but its progression can be slowed down.
The essential first step is to stop smoking, then there are medicated inhalers to help expand the airways.
Breathing exercises may be advised (i.e. pulmonary rehabilitation), and a lung transplant may be an option.
The BLF explained that if the doctor suspects lung cancer, you’ll be referred to a special clinic at the hospital.
From there a number of tests will be performed to identify any indications of the disease.
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