Respiratory system

If you'd like to discuss any worries or symptoms related to your respiratory system, a Livi GP can help.

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What is your respiratory system?

We take around 17,000 breaths each day through our respiratory system – made up of the nose and mouth, windpipe and 2 tubes that connect the windpipe to each lung. The lungs are vital for supplying oxygen to our organs. Respiratory conditions affect our lungs and respiratory (breathing) system.

Common respiratory conditions including asthma and bronchitis vary a lot in severity. Respiratory diseases like cystic fibrosis and lung cancer are usually more serious and affect 1 in 5 people. Hospital admissions for respiratory conditions double in number in winter.

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Enter a condition or symptom to filter the conditions below.


Asbestosis is a rare, long-term lung condition caused by asbestos exposure. Find out more about the symptoms, how it's diagnosed and what treatment is available.


Asthma is a lung condition that causes inflammation and swelling of the airways inside the lungs. This makes it harder for air to get into and out of the lungs, which causes breathlessness.


Bronchiectasis is a long-term breathing problem where the airways that lead to the lungs become widened. Read on to find out more about the symptoms, causes and treatments.


Bronchiolitis is a common winter illness that affects infants, and mostly resolves on its own. Discover the symptoms and how to get rid of bronchiolitis.


Bronchitis is an infection of the lungs' airways (bronchi) and is usually caused by a virus. Find out more about bronchitis symptoms, the causes and the treatment options available.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly referred to as COPD, is a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. Learn more about the symptoms, what causes the condition, how it’s diagnosed, and the treatments available.


A cough is a reflex action to clear mucus and irritants from your airways. Understand the different types of cough and when to seek medical help.

Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. It is a disease that's inherited and worsens over time. Find out more about the symptoms and what treatment is available.


Pleurisy is when the tissue between your lungs and ribcage (known as the pleura) becomes inflamed. This can cause sharp chest pain, especially when you breathe, and it might be worse when you cough or sneeze. Read on to discover the main causes of pleurisy, how it’s treated and recovery time.


Pneumonia is a type of severe chest infection that makes it difficult to breathe. Learn more about the symptoms to look out for, the causes and how it is treated and prevented.

Pulmonary embolism

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the lung’s arteries, usually caused by a blood clot from a deep vein thrombosis. Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatment.

Pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a serious lung condition that makes breathing difficult due to scarring on the lungs. We explain more about the symptoms, the causes and what treatment is available.

Pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries that carry blood from your heart to your lungs. Read about the different types of pulmonary hypertension and how they're treated.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread from one person to the next. When someone infected with TB coughs or sneezes tiny droplets are released into the air which can then be inhaled by someone else. TB mostly affects the lungs, but other areas of the body, including the tummy, glands and nervous system can be affected.