Disorders that affect the lungs and airways are called lung, respiratory, or pulmonary disorders. Among the most common symptoms of lung disorders are cough, shortness of breath (dyspnea), and wheezing. Less commonly, a blockage in the airways between the mouth and lungs results in a gasping sound when breathing (stridor). Problems in the lungs can also lead to coughing up of blood (hemoptysis), a bluish discoloration of the skin due to a lack of oxygen in the blood (cyanosis), or chest pain. Prolonged lung disease can even cause changes in other parts of the body, including finger clubbing. Some of these symptoms do not always indicate a lung problem. For example, chest pain (see Symptoms of Digestive Disorders: Chest or Back Pain and see Symptoms of Heart and Blood Vessel Disorders: Chest Pain) may also result from a heart or digestive disorder, and shortness of breath can be caused by a heart or blood disorder.
Last full review/revision July 2012 by Noah Lechtzin, MD, MHS