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Cystic Fibrosis - An Introduction

How Will I Know If I Have A Lung Infection?

It is important to learn the early warning signs that may indicate that you have a lung infection.

Changes in the following symptoms may help to monitor your lung health:

  • Cough -You might start to cough or your cough may be different compared to your normal cough. Your cough may become more moist or wet.
  • Sputum (or mucus) – You may start coughing up sputum. If you always cough up sputum you may notice a change in the colour or the volume.  
  • Wheezing – You may start making a whistling noise while breathing.
  • Difficulty breathing – You may find you cannot keep up with others during physical activity. You may also be more breathless than usual, maybe even at rest.

When people with CF have a chest infection they often feel generally unwell, tired and lacking in energy, and may not feel like eating. Fevers may occur.  Some individuals with CF will not appear to be sick though. Changes may still be happening in the lungs of these individuals. Children with CF may not feel or look unwell even when infection is occurring, so changes in cough, or other symptoms specific to the individual are really important to monitor. You should work together with your CF healthcare team if you do notice a change in your symptoms. An action plan for treatment can be helpful for early intervention. Talk to your CF team about this.

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