Lung Health Checklist

What if your cough isn't just a cough?

Complete the Lung Health Checklist

It’s not often that we stop to think about our breathing, it’s just something we do. Research shows that almost half (46%) of all Australians rarely or never think about their lung health. Yet 1 in 3 Australians will be impacted by lung disease or lung cancer. Symptoms of lung disease and lung cancer can be vague, and people often put it down to signs of ageing or a lack of fitness. Early diagnosis is critical to receiving best-practice care and treatment.

Learn the signs

Symptoms of lung disease and lung cancer tend to creep up slowly and people often put them down to ageing or lack of fitness. This leads to many automatically adjusting their daily activities to accommodate or reduce their symptoms rather than getting help. But a persistent cough, breathlessness and fatigue can be serious.

Knowing the early warning signs of lung disease can help you get a diagnosis and receive treatment before the disease becomes serious or even life-threatening. Take 2 minutes to learn the symptoms through our lung health checklist.

Know the symptoms

Persistent cough

 You should seek the advice of your GP if you are experiencing any of the following: a persistent cough which lasts more than three weeks, coughing up mucus, phlegm or blood, pain or fainting caused by coughing bouts, trouble sleeping at night because of coughing or if your coughing is coupled with a worrying symptom such as breathlessness, chest pain or fatigue.

Breathlessness

Breathlessness is a common symptom of lung disease, however many people put breathlessness down to ageing, being overweight or unfit. However, unexplained breathlessness needs to be addressed. You should visit your doctor if you experience any shortness of breath that is not expected from an activity and the current state of your fitness or health as it could indicate you have a problem with your lungs.

Fatigue

Fatigue, is an excessive persistent feeling of tiredness that may not be alleviated by sleep or rest. It can affect the way you think, including poor concentration and memory loss, as well as make you feel more emotional than usual. Fatigue can also affect your ability to do everyday tasks such as taking a shower or making your dinner. If you are feeling fatigued, it is important to let your health professional know so that the cause can be investigated.

What is a cough?

Coughing is a necessary part of our body's normal cleaning routine for the lungs. We cough to clear unwanted mucus or phlegm from our airways, and to remove any foreign particles such as dust. The most common cause of a cough is a viral upper respiratory tract infection or cold. Usually, the cough caused by a cold clears up within three weeks. When coughing lasts longer than this, it may be considered a persistent cough and you should make an appointment with your GP to investigate.

When should I see a doctor?

Coughing becomes a problem when it is unexplained and persistent (for more than three weeks) or when it is accompanied by other symptoms such as breathlessness or results in complications such as pain, fatigue and trouble sleeping. Coughing may indicate the presence of an underlying medical condition. For some people there can be an underlying serious lung disease present, such as lung cancer. It’s important to see your GP to find out why you may be coughing.

Information and Support Centre

Our Information and Support Centre team provides guidance, information and support, and connects you to relevant support services. This free and confidential service is available Monday to Friday 8am – 4.30pm (AEST) (excl. public holidays). Please note this service does not offer medical or treatment advice. Freecall 1800 654 301 or book an appointment by following the link.
Book an appointment

Tips to look after your lungs

Every part of your body needs oxygen from the air you breathe to survive. The delicate structure of the lungs is beautifully adapted to carry out the complex business of breathing and transferring oxygen to the rest of the body. At the same time, the lungs help protect the body from outside attack.

Most of the time we are not even aware that our lungs are working, but they can be damaged in many ways and become less efficient at taking oxygen from the air and getting rid of waste carbon dioxide.

1

Smoking

Make your life a smoke-free zone by quitting smoking and/or reducing your exposure to second-hand smoke.
2

Workplace exposure

If you are exposed to dust, fumes, gases and other hazardous agents in your work environment, make sure your workplace implements the Hierarchy of Controls to minimise your risk.
3

Vaccination

Protect yourself from influenza and pneumonia by having the vaccinations.
4

Healthy lifestyle

Exercise regularly and have a healthy diet.
5

Reduce the risk

Practice good hand hygiene to minimise the spread of germs.

AstraZeneca Pty. Ltd. ABN 54 009 682 311. 66 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113. www.astrazeneca.com.au. For Medical Information enquiries or to report an adverse event or product quality complaint: Telephone 1800 805 342 or via http://contactazmedical.astrazeneca.com or email Medical Information enquiries to medinfo.australia@astrazeneca.com. AU-11405. Date of preparation: September 2021.

This campaign has been developed in partnership with AstraZeneca Australia.

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