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Coughing? Here’s When You Should See A Doctor

Persistent coughing is an irritating and potentially dangerous problem. It may start with a common cold or as a symptom of the flu, but persists after your body heals and you do not have other symptoms. Read on to learn about the types of coughing and when it’s time to see a doctor.

When Is the Cold Season?

When you think of a cold or flu, you probably assume that you are more likely to face exposure to the bacteria or germs during the winter months. Many individuals end up with a cold or flu due to the increased time they spend indoors during winter.

You can show signs of a cold or flu at any time of year. Though you face more potential exposure in winter because you spend more time around others and in an indoor environment. The bacteria or virus ends up on doorknobs, the hands of your co-workers and children, or on other surfaces you may touch throughout the day. Others may sneeze or cough in your general area, which allows the germs to spread throughout the room. You can reduce your risk of a sickness by keeping your hands clean, but you should also be aware of the risks during the winter months.

Coughing Due to a Cold

A cold or flu causes uncomfortable symptoms and annoying problems. A common issue that may persist after the initial fever and other symptoms take place is an acute cough. The coughing causes discomfort and may limit your ability to enjoy normal activities.

An acute cough is a short-term and slightly annoying symptom that usually fades within a few weeks. Your body eventually recovers and you will notice the cough fade over time. Although a cold or flu may cause an acute cough that dwindles after a few weeks, you may also face a chronic cough. Persistent coughing means that your symptoms do not fade or change over the course of a month.

Types of Coughs – When Coughing Is Dangerous

Evaluating your cough plays a key role in determining when you may have signs of a dangerous condition or problem. With that in mind, is coughing dangerous? It ultimately depends on the type of cough.

Acute Coughing

An acute cough is a common symptom of a cold or flu. You may notice other symptoms, such as a fever or body aches, as well as the discomfort of the cough. Although the symptoms occur as a result of the bacteria or virus, you want to pay attention to the severity of your cough. Do not assume that the cough is not a cause for concern unless it is a dry cough and does not cause difficulties with your breathing.

Persistent Coughing

Persistent coughing lasts for more than three weeks. If your coughing does not fade after you heal from a sickness, then you may need to identify the cause of your coughing.

While the duration of a cough varies, you should also pay attention to any wet or moist coughing. A dry cough is a simple cough caused by a tickling sensation, but it does not produce any mucus. A wet cough, or whooping cough, may bring up mucus.

When to See a Doctor for a Cough

Determining when to see a doctor for a cough depends on your symptoms. As a general rule, seek medical care when:

  • Your cough persists beyond three weeks and does not show any signs of fading or changing
  • You notice blood after you cough
  • The coughing causes wheezing, choking or shortness of breath (these may be signs of serious concerns)

Coughing is a common problem that occurs for a variety of reasons. During the cold and flu season, you may notice a consistent and annoying cough. In most cases, your symptoms are mild and will fade as your body recovers from the sickness. However, you should talk to a doctor when the symptoms persist or cause any concerns about your health.

If you live in the Chicago area and have one of the danger signs of a cough, give Aayu Clinics a call at 773-227-3669 to make an appointment.

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