Suffering from cough for long?

Prolonged Cough: Alarming Signs to be aware of!

Healthcare News

As we experience climate change, colds and coughs become a common health concern many people suffer from. If the cough persists for longer, it might indicate something serious.

The body’s natural response to an irritant is a cough triggered by receptors in the throat that detect tickling, dryness, or obstructions, among other sensations. When someone coughs, their lungs aggressively and quickly release air, sometimes up to 100 miles per hour, to clear the obstruction in their airway. Many factors, such as infections, diseases, chronic ailments, stomach problems, and certain drugs may cause cough.

A cough usually goes away on its own and is nothing to worry about. But one should consult a doctor for symptoms such as coughing up blood or discolored mucus, high fever or night sweats, or a cough that lasts for weeks.

A cough is sometimes a symptom of something as simple as seasonal allergies or the common cold. However, many illnesses and conditions may be the cause—some of which may require urgent treatment. Signs of an emergency include trouble breathing, coughing up pink or frothy mucus, or chest pain.

When does a cough get serious?

A cough rarely requires medical attention and usually goes away on its own. But if one has any of the following symptoms—a high temperature, night sweats, coughing up blood or discolored mucus, or a chronic cough that lasts for several weeks—one must see a doctor.

A cough can be a symptom of a few conditions that may require emergency medical attention, in addition to minor problems like seasonal allergies or a regular cold, breathing difficulties, and coughing up.

Here are a few alarming situations when one must consider consulting a doctor urgently.

Coughing up discolored mucus

Mucus, or sputum or phlegm, is a substance secreted by the respiratory tract cells. Sputum that becomes yellow, green, or tan in color usually indicates the presence of white blood cells that are fighting an infection. If one has been coughing up discolored mucus for longer than a week or one has a fever, you should see a doctor because this could be a sign of pneumonia or another lung condition. Pink, foamy mucus requires emergency medical attention immediately since it may be a sign of heart failure or pulmonary edema.

Blood accompanied by cough

There are several reasons why someone would cough up blood, including lung cancer, asthma, bronchiectasis (damaged airways), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and airway inflammation (as in bronchitis or pneumonia). To identify the underlying cause of blood in the cough, seeking medical assistance is essential due to the danger of these potential causes.

Shortness of breath

A cough accompanied by wheezing and dyspnea may be a sign of acid reflux, asthma, or an allergic reaction. In these situations, seeking medical advice from a physician becomes essential to discuss possible tests to rule out infections such as bronchitis or more severe illnesses like pneumonia. One must seek emergency medical attention in case of severe breathing problems or choking.

Lingering cough for up to 2 weeks

When a person is experiencing a cough that lasts from 2 to 4 weeks, he should immediately reach out for medical assistance as a subacute cough, which may be caused by a post-infectious cough or postnasal drip.

Cough is generally a common health concern experienced by individuals due to season change or excessive pollution, but when the cough persists for a long duration with the above symptoms, it may require professional intervention. Hence, one must not delay consulting a general physician. To consult a general physician, from the comfort of your home, CLICK HERE.