Why do I feel short of breath?
Feeling short of breath temporarily (e.g., when you exercise or run up the stairs) may be completely normal, but when it is unexpected, sudden, constant, or lasting for a long time, it can be a sign of a medical problem. Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, can be caused by various medical conditions including lung problems (e.g., asthma, blot clot, pneumonia, cancer), anemia, or heart problems (e.g., heart failure). Want more information? Read "Shortness of breath: causes" and "Shortness of breath: treatment."
What are the most common lung conditions?
Some of the most common lung conditions are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia and lung cancer. For more information about lung conditions, read "Lung conditions."
What are the effects of smoking?
Smoking has many negative affects on your health, including increasing your risk of heart disease, strokes, cancer, and lung conditions such as emphysema. For more information about the effects of smoking, see "The effects of smoking" or check out the Smoking channel.
How does pollution affect your lungs?
Pollution is harmful to your lungs and heart. It aggravates heart problems, bronchitis, asthma, and other lung problems. For information about air quality and how to protect yourself from pollution, read "Air quality."
What is asthma?
Asthma is a lung condition that affects the airways (bronchial tubes) of your lungs, causing the tissues lining the airways to swell and become narrow. This causes symptoms of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. For more information, see our Asthma channel.
What is croup?
Croup is an infection of the throat and vocal cords that is caused by a virus. Many viruses can cause croup, including influenza virus, adenovirus, and measles. Since children under 5 years old have smaller airways that are more prone to swelling, they commonly develop the classic croup cough when infected with these viruses. For more information, see "Croup: what you should know."
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
The most common symptoms of pneumonia are cough and sputum production (coughing up phlegm). You may also feel short of breath or have a fever, chills, a headache, or muscle aches. Our pneumonia condition article will give you more information about pneumonia and its symptoms.
What is COPD?
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, encompasses two conditions: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In chronic bronchitis, the airways (or bronchi) that connect the windpipe and the lungs become inflamed and swollen and clogged up with thick mucus. Emphysema involves destructive changes of the air sacs in the lungs that reduce the surface area where oxygen exchange takes place.
How common is lung cancer?
Lung cancer is the most common cancer that women and men between the ages of 65 and 75 die from.
Is it healthy to exercise outside?
Getting outside in the fresh air and exercising is good for your health... most of the time! If you're exercising in areas where there is lots of pollution and the air quality is poor, you might be doing more harm than good. Read "Air quality" for information about how you can protect yourself from the effects of pollution.