Post Viral Coughs: Why Is Your Cough Lingering After Being Sick?

February 1, 2024

Coughing is a common illness symptom. A cough can occur due to a variety of different infections ranging from mild to severe. Coughs can also occur due to reasons such as environmental irritants and allergies. If you are suffering from a cough, it is important to seek a medical diagnosis to ensure your cough does not indicate a severe illness. AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst is available seven days a week for rapid illness diagnosis and treatment. Walk into the clinic today, or schedule your visit online.

What Causes a Cough

Coughing during an illness is a very common symptom. Coughing is your body’s attempt to clear your lungs and airway of an irritant. Viruses and bacteria are common irritants, but environmental factors can also irritant your lungs and cause you to cough. Allergens, dust, smoke, and even cold or dry air are common environmental irritants that can cause you to cough.

There are three main types of coughs: acute, sub-acute, and chronic. An acute cough is typical during a viral infection. Meanwhile, sub-acute means that the illness lasted longer than three weeks after respiratory disease. A chronic cough lasting more than 12 weeks is common in cases of asthma, postnasal drip, and reflux. A cough that lingers longer than the rest of your symptoms following an illness is called a post-viral cough. These coughs can last weeks and often require medical care to completely resolve.

Why Won’t My Cough Go Away

If you are suffering from a cough that just doesn’t seem to be resolving, there are a few different reasons why. It is incredibly difficult to diagnose the cause of a lingering cough without diagnostic testing performed by a board-certified medical professional. If you have a cough that won’t resolve, you should seek medical care for proper treatment.

  • Respiratory Tract Infection: Respiratory tract infections refer to illnesses that affect your airway and your lungs. Illnesses such as the flu and the common cold are both examples of upper respiratory infections. These illnesses can range from very mild to severe. They are usually caused by viral infections, making them very easy to contract and spread to others. Post-viral coughs can last for weeks after your other symptoms develop into secondary infections, making it important to seek medical care if you have a lingering cough.
  • Postnasal Drip: Postnasal drip cough refers to a cough that is caused by the sensation of congestion running down the back of your throat. When you’re sick, or exposed to irritants, your body flushes them out by trapping them in mucus before they reach your lungs. As the mucus moves from your sinuses to your stomach, it may tickle or irritate the back of your throat, causing you to cough.
  • Allergies: Your lungs are very fragile and prone to irritation. Coughing is a way that your lungs can protect themselves from irritants that you may be breathing in. A common way that your lungs can become irritated is by being exposed to airborne allergens. During spring and summer, when allergens are often in full force, you may notice you are coughing more often than usual.

When To Seek Medical Care For A Cough

If you’re experiencing a cough that lingers for longer than a week, you should seek medical care. Coughing is a common illness symptom, however, if your cough lasts more than a week, it may indicate that you require treatment. When left untreated, coughs can develop into secondary infections such as pneumonia, which can lead to long-term lung damage. In the case of environmental allergens, you may need to make lifestyle adjustments or take medication to help fight your allergies more effectively and reduce your symptoms.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst for Same-Day Illness Care

If you’re experiencing a cough that has lasted longer than all of your other illness symptoms, it is important that you seek medical care to prevent your cough from worsening. AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst makes getting the care that you need fast and convenient. We offer illness diagnosis and treatment on a walk-in basis daily so that you can get the care that you need when it’s convenient for you.

We never require you to schedule an appointment, simply walk into our clinic or schedule your visit online. Our clinic has a full laboratory on-site, allowing our dedicated medical staff to conduct advanced diagnostic testing at the time of your visit. We accept most medical insurance plans and offer affordable care. Walk in today. To learn more, contact us directly by calling (201) 345-3839.

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