The lungs are responsible for the vital exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide when breathing and sit just behind and either side of the heart in the chest. Issues with the lungs are often minor and self-limiting but symptoms can sometimes be suggestive of other problems and should prompt further investigation.
Cough is one of the most common presentation to GP's and is most often due to minor issues like viral infections that settle on their own in a few weeks and do not require antibiotics.
Cough can be due to other issues however like acid reflux, post-nasal drip (nasal mucus running down the throat), a side-effect of some blood pressure medications, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (like asthma but most often related to chronic smoking) and more serious conditions like pneumonia, heart failure and lung cancer - any patient with a smoking history that is losing weight with a chronic cough, shortness of breath or blood in the sputum would require an urgent review.
Sometimes people may present with chronic lung problems related to either hobbies or their occupation; those that have worked in an environment with lots of coal-dust, or have been exposed to asbestos for example or those that have kept birds are at risk of other forms of lung disease.
If you are coughing, more short of breath or wheezing, whether these are on-going or acute symptoms, you should see your Doctor for further reviewSee a doctor about lung conditions