Coughing is a natural defense reflex. In pathological conditions, a cough may have complex origins, which should be investigated by a specialist such as a pneumologist if the cough has lasted longer than six weeks.
Shortness of breath often occurs only with physical exertion at the initial stages. It is often not perceived when individuals are not used to doing a lot of physical activity. Some people even avoid physical efforts in order not to feel the discomfort of breathlessness. Since the causes may be lung and/or heart disease, it is recommended to undergo diagnostics at the appearance of first signs. Shortness of breath at rest is usually an emergency case and must be treated immediately.
Acute infections of the respiratory tract are usually caused by a virus. People without chronic diseases usually recover within three weeks when hit by an infection. In case of strong discomfort a doctor should be consulted. For patients with chronic asthma or COPD a viral infection may lead to severe complications. Thus it is recommended to ask for medical advice at the beginning when an infection occurs in order to prevent hospital admissions.
Chest pain can be due to heart, pleura/lung or musculoskeletal problems. One should not hesitate to seek a medical diagnosis in order to exclude severe disease. Dry mucous membranes of the throat and the bronchial tract are often caused by disturbed nasal breathing and can cause coughing. Inhalations of saline solutions via electrical or membrane nebulizers may be helpful in these cases. Instruction for appropriate inhalation therapy is offered in our practice.