The main symptoms

The main symptoms that suggest a respiratory disease are:

Breathlessness - either at rest or on exercise.
Cough with or without sputum.
Tiredness beyond normal expectation.

It can be difficult to distinguish between the various respiratory conditions but combinations of symptoms (e.g. cough and wheeze), the frequency of symptoms, (daily or only with an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)) and the timing of onset of symptoms (short or long period of time) will give a strong pointer to different possible diagnoses.