Cough, Shortness of breath: 68 Possible Causes
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What causes cough and shortness of breath? 68 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Asthma Overview

Learn about asthma. Explore the types of asthma and read information about their symptoms, causes and treatments. Continue reading!

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2

Emphysema

Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema, a disease of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe. Learn more about how emphysema affects you and how it's treated.

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3

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic condition that affects the chambers of your heart. CHF refers to fluid buildup around your heart.

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4

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is your body's response to specific allergens. It causes uncomfortable symptoms like sneezing and itchy eyes.

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5

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. General symptoms include chest pain, fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

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6

Pulmonary Edema

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Pulmonary edema is a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid. When this occurs, the body struggles to get enough oxygen, often resulting in breathlessness, coughing, excessive sweating, and bluish skin or lips.

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7

Lung Cancer Overview

Lung cancer is a cancer that originates in the lungs. Lung cancer often goes undetected in the early stages, since symptoms don't usually present themselves until the advanced stages of the disease.

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8

Chronic Bronchitis

People often develop acute bronchitis after a viral chest infection. Blue-colored lips ankle or foot swelling can result.

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9

Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis causes symptoms like chronic coughing, coughing up blood, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Read about treatment options.

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10

Cold and Flu Overview

Common colds and influenza are contagious infections that affect the respiratory system. Both are airborne illnesses, spread through coughing and sneezing. Shared symptoms include headache, cough, sore throat, and more.

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11

Heart Attack Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A clot blocks the blood flow to the heart (heart attack), and damages heart muscle. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and a blue or grey tinge to the skin.

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12

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. A severe and long-lasting cough, fever, and night sweats could indicate an active TB infection.

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13

Croup

Croup is a viral condition that causes swelling around the vocal cords. It's most active in the fall and winter months and targets children under the age of 5.

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14

Swine Flu

Swine flu, or H1N1, is highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person. A simple sneeze may cause thousands of germs to spread through the air. Symptoms are similar to regular influenza.

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15

Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that causes lung scarring and stiffness. This keeps the body from getting enough oxygen.

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16

MRSA (Staph) Infection

MRSA is an infection caused by a type of staph bacteria that's resistant to many different antibiotics. Learn about its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

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17

The Atypical Facts About Atypical Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the lungs. Atypical pneumonia is a kind that isn't caused by the bacteria that causes typical pneumonia.

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18

COPD Overview

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a lung condition usually caused by smoking. It makes breathing difficult, and wheezing, tightness in chest, and chest infections are common.

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19

Empyema

An empyema is a condition in which pus collects in the pleural space, which is the area between your lungs and the inner surface of your chest wall.

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20

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Infection

RSV is virus that causes symptoms similar to those of a cold and occurs most frequently in children. Learn about causes and treatment.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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