Why Am I Coughing?
Most coughs relate to picking up a cold, flu or a chest infection. The cough can occur day or night and may produce some phlegm or sputum. However if a cough persists for more than 3 weeks then it’s important to get it checked out.
Should I worry about my cough?
Yes if you have associated symptoms like persistent fevers or night sweats or you have coughed up blood. Breathlessness can also be a warning that the cough is more than a simple cold or flu. Also if you have previous respiratory conditions.
What causes a prolonged cough?
Some infections can cause a cough that lasts for many weeks, eg whooping cough (click on the link for this condition). A long lasting cough may be a sign of sinusitis and post nasal drip. Acid and non-acid reflux can commonly cause a problematic cough. A type of Asthma can trigger coughing without wheezing or breathlessness. More serious conditions may also lead to coughing. These include Lung Cancer, Bronchiectasis, Pulmonary Fibrosis and Tuberculosis.
What tests may I need to investigate my cough?
Tailored investigations will be suggested depending on the length of your cough, the pattern of your cough and associated symptoms. Often you will need a Chest Xray, breathing tests, blood tests and sputum analysis.
How do I treat my cough?
Most cough medicines can provide some symptom relief but do not deal with the underlying problem. It’s very important to get a clear diagnosis and receive the individual treatment for your particular cough.