Fluid accumulation in the lungs causes much more than just shortness of breath. A chronic hacking and wheezing cough is also a symptom, which accompanies congestive heart failure. Coughing is the lungs way of expelling the extra fluid found in the air sacs of the lungs. As with breathlessness, it helps to support yourself with pillows while lying down to avoid fluids accumulating in the lungs. Lying down often worsens the condition since fluid cannot be drained and instead sits in the lungs causing breathing difficulties and the reaction of the hacking or wheezing cough.