Lungs are spongy organs equipped for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The interior of the lungs is composed of a network of tiny sacs through which oxygen gets into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide leaves the bloodstream. During the breathing process, air gets into the lungs through the trachea, which branches into bronchi leading into each lung.
The bronchi branch further into bronchioles which lead into the tiny air sacs called alveoli. Most infections get into the lungs through the air that we breathe. The infections can affect any part of the lungs. Such infections include pneumonia, influenza, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
Other diseases of the lungs include COPD, asthma, and lung cancer. Lung infections affect millions of people of different ages. But, how would you know that you or a loved one has a lung infection? Following are the most common 10 lung infection symptoms:
Symptom #1: Coughing
Coughing is one of the most common lung infection symptoms. It occurs when the body needs to expel an irritant from the lungs. Coughing forces air to flow out in a fast stream. This way, irritants such as mucus and smoke transports out. An occasional cough is a normal occurrence that keeps the lungs clean. However, when you’re coughing continuously for weeks or longer, it is probably a sign of lung infection.
In this case, the infection-causing pathogens may lodge on the inner surface of a part of the lungs. This leads to increased mucus production as the immune system tries to wash away the pathogens. The increased mucus production necessitates coughing. Besides increased mucus, the irritation may cause swelling within the lungs which can lead to narrowing of some airways. Coughing due to constricted airways may be accompanied by pain in the chest, or noisy/difficult breathing.