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There are many different types of breathing problems. They may affect the upper respiratory system (nose, ears, sinuses and throat) or the lower respiratory system (bronchial tubes and lungs).
Symptoms of an upper respiratory problem may include coughing, fever, a runny or stuffy nose and irritability.
A cough is a sudden release of air from the lungs and may have many causes. It is a reflex mechanism activated by irritation or obstruction of the airways. Coughing is often accompanied by a cold and a runny nose.
A common cause of coughing is postnasal drip running down the back of the throat as a result of a cold, allergic rhinitis or sinusitis. Coughing may bring up mucus from the lungs or it may be dry.
Coughing may interfere with sleep, going to school or work.