Having itchy lungs is a common sign of several respiratory diseases, most common of which is asthma. Asthma causes the air passage ways to swell, become narrow, and produce a large volume of mucus which often causes the patients to feel as if their lungs are itchy.
Patients that have itchy lungs may often have breathing difficulties that can be a minor nuisance or can be a major problem that can disrupt daily activities.
Causes of Itchy Lungs
There are several factors that cause lungs to feel itchy and these often differ from one person to another. Below are some of the factors that commonly trigger itchy lungs:
- Allergens that are spread in the air like pollen.
- Animal dander, dust mites, molds, and cockroaches.
- Infections that attack the respiratory system like the common cold.
- Strenuous physical activities like too much exercise.
- Cold air.
- Pollutants and irritants in the air like smoke and chemical fumes.
- Certain drugs which include aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs along with beta blockers.
- Strong emotions of anger, fear, sadness, and anxiety along with stress.
- Additives, preservatives, and sulfites that are added to beverages and foods.
- GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is a condition that brings back stomach acids into the throat.
- Allergic reactions to certain foods like shellfish and peanuts.
- Menstrual cycle.
Itchy Lungs Symptoms
Although having itchy lungs is a symptom in itself, it is usually accompanied by several other symptoms. These symptoms include the following:
- Shortness of breath.
- Tightening and pain in the chest area.
- Patients will often have trouble sleeping which is mainly due to breathing difficulties, wheezing and coughing.
- Audible whistling sound when a patient exhales. This is a common symptom experienced by children.
- Bouts of wheezing and coughing that can get worse when the respiratory tract is being attacked by viral infection like when a patient has a cold or flu.
What to Do for Itchy Lungs
Treatment options usually depend on the causative factor or the one that triggered the symptom to arise, age of the patient, and the symptoms that are observed.
- Those that have asthma will need long-term medications to control symptoms along with lung itchiness. Medications include inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, beta agonists, and a combination of inhalers.
- Allergy shots and medications can also be applied to control itchiness and accompanying symptoms especially when triggered by allergic reactions.
- It is always best to avoid things or substances that trigger the symptoms. This can be done by using an air conditioner, maintaining good humidity, maintaining clean air indoors, decreasing pet dander, regular clean-ups, and covering the face in cold surroundings.
- It is also best to maintain a healthy weight, do regular exercise, eat fruits and vegetables and manage gastroesophageal reflux disease.