Cough Symptoms

  • Symptoms

    A cough is itself a symptom of an underlying condition or disease. A cough may be the sign of a serious health problem when:

    • blood is being coughed up
    • chest pain accompanies the cough
    • breathing is difficult or short and shallow
    • unintentional weight loss has occurred along with chronic coughing
    • a fever accompanies the cough that lasts more than one day

    If you have any of the above symptoms, you should call your doctor.

  • Risk Factors

    Having one of the many different underlying conditions or diseases that can trigger the cough reflex will raise your risk of developing either an acute or a chronic cough Table 02.

    Table 2.  Clues to Common Causes of Cough

    If... Your cough may be the result of...
    You are a smoker ?Smokers'? bronchitis
    Your cough began after an upper respiratory infection or after exposure to an allergen Postnasal drip
    You have postnasal drip (mucus dripping down the back of the throat, usually due to allergies or sinus infection) Postnasal drip, perhaps caused by asthma
    You have facial or tooth pain Sinus infection (sinusitis)
    You have heartburn or a sour taste in your mouth Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    You are taking an ACE inhibitor or beta-blocker for high blood pressure The medication
    You are wheezing Asthma
    You are wheezing at night Asthma or congestive heart failure
    Your cough worsens at work Environmental pollution
    Your cough is producing rust-colored or greenish phlegm Pneumonia
    You have been loosing weight unintentionally Lung cancer or tuberculosis

    In many cases, a cough has more than a single cause.

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I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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