Heart failure (HF) is a highly prevalent disease that leads to significant morbidity and mortality. There is increasing evidence that the symptoms of HF are exacerbated by its deleterious effects on lung function. HF appears to cause airway obstruction acutely and leads to impaired gas diffusing capacity and pulmonary hypertension in the longer term. It is postulated that this is the result of recurrent episodes of elevated pulmonary capillary pressure leading to pulmonary oedema and pulmonary capillary stress fracture, which produces lung fibrosis. It is likely that impaired lung function impairs the functional status of HF patients and makes them more prone to central sleep apnoea.