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  • Foundation for Airway Health

7 Signs of Compromised Airway Health You Shouldn't Ignore

Breathing, a fundamental aspect of life, can be jeopardized without us even realizing it. For example, persistent coughing and struggling with each breath are signs of compromised airway health you should never take lightly. Recognizing these warning signs is not just important; it's crucial for early intervention and prompt treatment.

1. Persistent or Chronic Cough

A persistent cough that lasts for weeks or becomes chronic is one of the primary indicators of compromised airway health. While occasional coughing is normal, a persistent cough could signify conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, or lung cancer.

2. Wheezing

Wheezing — a high-pitched whistling sound while breathing, especially during exhalation — is another significant symptom not to ignore. It can indicate asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), or bronchitis. It often suggests that something is obstructing or narrowing your airways.

​​3. Shortness of Breath

Experiencing shortness of breath that occurs suddenly or as a recurring issue can be alarming. Medically known as dyspnea, this symptom can be associated with benign conditions or more serious health issues like COPD, asthma, heart disease, or pulmonary embolism.

4. Frequent Respiratory Infections

Frequent bouts of respiratory infections, including bronchitis, pneumonia, or the flu, can suggest a compromised immune system and poor airway health. Recurring respiratory problems require medical evaluation to determine underlying causes and prevent further complications.

5. Unexplained Fatigue

Unexplained fatigue can be due to poor oxygen supply and compromised airway health. If you have other symptoms besides fatigue, such as difficulty breathing or a chronic cough, it’s crucial to consider a respiratory origin.

6. Chest Pain or Tightness

You should never ignore chest pain or tightness, especially when associated with breathing issues. The symptoms can indicate severe respiratory conditions or even cardiovascular problems. Get immediate medical attention if chest pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms like dizziness or shortness of breath.

7. Nighttime Awakenings

Waking frequently gasping for air could indicate sleep apnea, a disorder where the airway becomes blocked during sleep. It can deprive you of oxygen and increase risks for other health issues like heart disease.

Help Us Promote the Benefits of Airway Health

Join the Foundation for Airway Health in its mission to ensure everyone understands how breathing impacts health and development. Your donation allows us to spread the word about the importance of breathing for overall health, conduct valuable research, and ensure access to care.

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