What Causes a Productive Cough?

December 1, 2023

Are you suffering from a productive cough, but not sure what could be causing it and whether you should seek medical treatment? Self-diagnosing illness symptoms can be difficult. Learn more about what causes a productive cough and whether you should seek medical treatment at urgent care for your symptoms. Visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood for same-day illness diagnosis and treatment in Lakewood, CO.

Common Causes of a Productive Cough

With peak illness season occuring during the winter months, pinpointing what is causing your illness symptoms can be difficult. A productive cough is a cough which causes you to produce mucus when you cough. This mucus may be discolored, which often indicates the presence of a bacterial infection. A productive cough occurs due to a build up of mucus in the lungs caused by an infection.

Productive coughs often progress as time passes. Over time, the mucus that has built up in the lungs will loosen and resurface as you cough. A productive cough can be long lasting, but often times will resolve after 10-14 days. Productive coughs can be distressing, as they often cause severe coughing fits, along with wheezing and shortness of breath.

Common Causes of A Productive Cough Include:

  • Cold
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia

When To Seek Medical Treatment For A Cough

In most cases, a cough is not a cause for concern. Coughing is simply a reflex which causes your lungs to contract to expel irritants. However, there are some cases, such as the presence of a productive cough, which require medical treatment. This is espeically true if you have an underlying heart or lung condition. If you are experiencing shortness of breath, trouble breathing or pain while breathing, you should seek immediate medical care for proper medical diagnosis and treatment.

If your cough is producing mucus that is discolored, usually a yellow or green color, this may indicate that you have a bacterial infection which requires prescription antibiotics for treatment. In the case of serious illnesses such as phenonmia and bronchitis, productive coughs often develop following a less severe infection, such as a cold. This can lead to prolonged illness symptoms, which is why it is important to seek medical attention if you develop a productive cough for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Cough Treatment Available At Urgent Care

If you are experiencing a productive cough, you should seek medical care for a medical diagnosis. Though a thorough physical exam, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose your illness and provide a treatment that will quickly and effectively resolve your symptoms. In some cases, chest X-rays and bloodwork may be required to determine a proper diagnosis.

Treatment for a productive cough depends on the source of the infection. If the infection is due to a viral infection, there is no real medical intervention that can be offered. However, you healthcare provider can advise on at-home care steps to help manage your symptoms. If you are suffering from a bacterial infection, your healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection.

Walk Into AFC Urgent Care Lakewood For Illness Diagnosis & Treatment In Lakewood, CO

If you’re experiencing a productive cough, seeking professional medical care is the best way to get on the road to recovery quickly. The medical professionals at AFC Urgent Care Lakewood are board-certified and experienced in diagnosing a variety of common illnesses based on your symptoms. Our facility is equipped with an on-site digital X-ray suite and laboratory which allows for rapid and accurate medical diagnoses at the time of your visit. Simply walk-in, or reserve your spot online.

When you’re suffering from illness symptoms, you can count on AFC Urgent Care Lakewood for fast and reliable illness care. Our clinic is open seven days a week with extended business hours so that you can get the care that you need exactly when you need it. We never require you to book an appointment to receive rapid medical care, simply walk into our clinic. We have short wait times and offer affordable care options. For more information regarding our clinic, please contact us directly by calling (303) 988-3600.

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