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Why Is My Cough Lingering Weeks After My Other Symptoms?

January 31, 2024

Coughing is a common illness symptom. However, in some cases, a cough can linger for much longer than the rest of your symptoms. There are many different reasons why your cough may be lingering. Learn about what is normal behavior for a cough, and when you should seek medical care for a cough. Visit AFC Urgent Care North Bergen for same-day cough diagnosis and treatment in North Bergen, NJ.

How Long Does A Cough Typically Last?

Coughing is a natural reflex meant to clear your lungs of any irritants. This can include dust, smoke, allergens, and germs like bacteria and viruses. For most healthy adults, coughing is a mild symptom that should disappear within a week or two. However, in some cases, coughing can last much longer than other illness symptoms.

If you have a persistent cough that lingers for longer than two weeks or worsens over time, you should seek medical care. Persistent coughing can indicate a variety of conditions such as allergies or an infection. However, identifying the cause of a lingering cough requires diagnostic testing performed by a medical professional.

What Causes a Lingering Cough?

Coughing is not always caused by an illness. Chronic coughing can be a sign of continued exposure to an irritant such as an allergen, dust, or even dry air. If you are experiencing a long-term cough that won’t go away, you should seek medical advice to determine the cause of your cough and get appropriate treatment. Some common causes of a lingering cough include:

Asthma & Allergies:

For many, exposure to allergens such as specific plants, dust, smoke, and mold can flare up asthma and allergy symptoms. If your cough is on and off, or only happens when you go outside or have a window open, you may be suffering from allergy symptoms.

Postnasal Drip & Inflamation:

If you have been sick, even with something mild like a cold, your cough may linger after the rest of your symptoms have resolved. In some cases, coughs can linger for up to 8 weeks following even a mild illness. One reason for this is postnasal drop and lingering inflammation in your sinuses and airway. While you’re sick, your body flushes out irritants using mucus. This can result in access mucus lingering in your sinus and draining in the back of your throat. This can cause irritation and cause you to cough.

Secondary Infections:

In some cases, viral infections can develop into more severe infections over time. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as delayed symptom treatment. Even something as mild as a cold can sometimes develop into a serious infection like bronchitis. If your cough is worsening over time instead of resolving, you may have a secondary infection and should seek immediate medical care.

Visit AFC Urgent Care North Bergen for Walk-In Cough Treatment

If you have a cough that just won’t go away, it is important to seek medical care. Understanding what exactly is causing you to cough is vital to finding an effective treatment. Without proper treatment, certain infections can develop into more severe infections over time. AFC Urgent Care North Bergen offers same-day illness diagnosis and treatment on a walk-in basis. Simply walk into our clinic, or schedule an appointment online.

Schedule An Appointment

At AFC Urgent Care North Bergen, our medical providers are board-certified and trained to quickly diagnose a variety of common illnesses. Using our on-site laboratory, we can accurately diagnose your illness right at the time of your visit. Your medical provider will discuss the treatment options available to you depending on your diagnosis to ensure you recover as quickly as possible. For more information regarding our clinic, contact us directly by calling (201) 588-1300.

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