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Dr. Davidson
Dr. Davidson, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1058
Experience:  Board Certified Specialist in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
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My lungs feel like they are burning. No sign of illness

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My lungs feel like they burn. I don't feel sick, or seem to show any signs of any illness. They burn after I do some work or walk outside.

Hi there, and thanks for your question.

I'm sorry to hear about your symptoms. The sensation of lungs "burning" can occur for various reasons. One of the most common reasons is the inhalation of very cold, dry air. This alone can cause the symptoms you describe. When we exercise, like the work/walking outside, we tend to breathe more through our mouths, which prevents the air from receiving moisture as it does when it passes through the nose first. This dry air can then irritate the lungs. If the air is not so cold, your symptoms can also be associated with a viral infection of the lungs. This doesn't necessarily mean you'd have bad cold-like symptoms. Many viruses are very weak, and sometimes we don't even realize we have one. Nonetheless, they can cause some mild lung irritation, which is worsened by exercise. Finally, patients with exercise-induced asthma symptoms often complain of burning when they exercise outside. It often doesn't happen with indoor work, but is extremely common outside.

I hope all of this information is helpful for you. Feel free to ask any additional questions. Take care.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I am outside most of the day as a sales rep. In and out of the car. It just started today and comes and goes. I was just vacuuming my house and felt it burning again...then after I stop and sit for a few mins it goes away. Is there anything I need to watch for?

Thanks for your response. It may be a sign of a mild or early bronchitis. If possible I would recommend taking it easy with exercise or exertion for the next few days. It doesn't sound like anything serious, but in terms of things to watch out for, I would mention chest pain, wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath, and fever. If any of these things occur, I would recommend being seen by a physician. They may indicate bronchitis or pneumonia. If you have a history of asthma, even as a child, it can also be associated with an early phase of an asthma exacerbation.

Hope this helps, take care.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you very much for your time. You have been very helpful...have a great new year.

You too, take care.
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