A lingering cough after a long winter of suffering from a cold or the flu is fairly common. But when does a cough become something more serious? And when to see a doctor about a cough? In some cases, a cough can be a warning sign of a bad upper respiratory infection or something worse, and you will need to seek medical attention. AFC Urgent Care West Hartford has put together this blog to help you determine when your pesky cough has developed into a serious medical issue and medical attention is required.
What are the symptoms that my cough has become serious and when to see a doctor?
- Your cough lasts more than a few weeks
A lingering cough after being ill is likely to persist for one to three weeks, but if it looks like its settled in for a longer stay than that, you may need to consult a doctor. Try not to use cough drops continuously. They may help as a temporary relief, but using them too often may be suppressing the signs that something more is going on.
- You’re coughing up blood or thick mucus
If you are coughing up blood, it may be due to a nose bleed or a small abrasion from the continued coughing, but it may be the sign of something far worse. It is always advisable to seek medical attention when you find yourself coughing up blood. Coughing up very thick, or strangely colored mucus may also have harmless origins, such as your body trying to heal itself. However, like seeing blood, the can be a telling sign that something is seriously wrong.
- You’re breathlessness and/or fatigued
When coughing leaves you short of breath, it’s something to take seriously. Sadly, people attribute shortness of breath to being ‘out of shape’, but it could be a precursor to COPD, or a heart attack. Similarly, your symptoms of fatigue may not be due to lack of sleep, but rather you may have a viral infection that you immune system is trying desperately to fight. If these symptoms ring true with you, seek medical attention.
- You’ve got a fever
A fever is never a good sign. Some reasons behind a fever may be easily remedied, but some others will require medical attention. Unfortunately, rest does not cure all things, so if you are experiencing a fever in conjunction with a cough, visit a doctor today.
- You’ve got chest pain
Chest pain, like coughing up blood or thick mucus can be completely natural reactions to your body’s lingering cough. However, as indigestion is one of the causes of a lingering cough, your body may have developed GERD or it could be the early warning signs of bronchitis or pneumonia. It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing chest pain.
What should I do about my cough?
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these potentially dangerous symptoms accompanied by a lingering cough, we suggest you take it seriously and consult a medical professional immediately. It may be nothing, but you may be saving yourself from a serious medical issue.
At AFC Urgent Care West Hartford you can walk right in with that lingering cough, no appointment necessary. Our walk-in clinic located at: 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT 06119-1801. All our locations are open 7 days a week and ready to treat you. You can save time by checking in online and we accept most insurances.