PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What problems can coughing signal?

ANSWER

A thick, wet cough can mean you have a cold or the flu. But if you also feel short of breath, it can be a sign of another condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.)

People with COPD have airways that are inflamed, clogged with mucus, or don’t work as well as they used to. Smoking is the biggest cause of the condition, but breathing secondhand smoke, polluted air, or toxic chemicals can also hurt your airways.

A morning cough can be an early sign of COPD. In severe cases, you may also notice weight loss or swelling in your ankles, feet, or legs.

SOURCES:

NHS Choices: “Shortness of Breath,” “Chest Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Wheezing.”

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?”

National Sleep Foundation: “COPD and Difficulty Breathing.”

Victoria State Government/Better Health Channel: “Breathing to Reduce Stress.”

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: “Sleep Apnea – Overview & Facts.”

American Society of Hematology: “Iron-Deficiency Anemia.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on April 8, 2020

SOURCES:

NHS Choices: “Shortness of Breath,” “Chest Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Wheezing.”

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?”

National Sleep Foundation: “COPD and Difficulty Breathing.”

Victoria State Government/Better Health Channel: “Breathing to Reduce Stress.”

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: “Sleep Apnea – Overview & Facts.”

American Society of Hematology: “Iron-Deficiency Anemia.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on April 8, 2020

NEXT QUESTION:

What does it mean if I'm wheezing or hear whistling sound when I breathe?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.