Breathing problems can be a sign of serious health issues. However, many older people are quick to blame age and being out of shape for their breathing problems.
- A thick wet cough could be a sign of flu or — worse still — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Fast and shallow breathing is sign of stress and anxiety, and is part of the body’s fight or flight response.
- Chest pain can be a sign of a pulled muscle; it may also indicate pneumonia or underlying heart problem.
But if you feel winded for no reason or all of a sudden, don’t brush it off. It could be a sign there’s a problem with your airways or heart.
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Mike Dilkes MS FRCS(ORL-HNS), FRCSEd, FRCS
Mike Dilkes ENT is based in Central, North, East and South London. Most of our consultations and treatments are carried out either at The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth or The London Independent Hospital. The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth is one of London's biggest and most prestigious private hospitals.
It is in St Johns's Wood, a leafy area of the west end, just north of Harley Street and Regent's Park. The London Independent Hospital is in Stepney Green, hidden away just behind Mile End Road, just to the East of the City of London. Formally The London Jewish Hospital, it is a purpose built modern building with full facilities, beautifully appointed rooms, state of the art laser systems and, in case anything goes wrong (it really shouldn't), a fully covered Consultant 24 hour ward and Intensive Care presence - the only private hospital in London to have this.