You cough a little now and then, but don’t think too much of it. Then you find yourself coughing uncontrollably when you lay down. Or, you feel like you always need to cough and like you can’t quite catch your breath. Should you be worried?
Maybe. It’s never a bad idea to book an appointment or drop by at Trusted ER. Our providers can quickly evaluate your cough, and give you a clearer idea of why you’re coughing and whether it may be something serious.
Coughs that require care
There are certain types of coughs that you should never ignore. If you’re coughing up phlegm that appears green or yellow, for example, you should see a medical provider. Other symptoms you shouldn’t ignore include:
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swollen ankles
You should get emergency care immediately if your cough causes:
- Choking or vomiting
- Problems breathing or swallowing
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
Even if you don’t experience those symptoms you should come to Trusted ER if your cough lasts for more than a couple of weeks. A persistent cough can be a sign of a more serious condition.
Your cough may simply be a symptom of the common cold. However, a cough can also be a sign of pneumonia, asthma, acute bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These conditions get worse without treatment, so the sooner you see a doctor, the better.
Types of coughs
Not all coughs are the same. The three most common types of coughs are wet, dry, and paroxysmal.
When you have a cough that is accompanied by a runny nose, chances are you have a wet cough. You may feel like there’s something in the back of your throat when you have a wet cough and sometimes coughing brings up mucus. A wet cough is the kind of cough you have when you have a cold.
Just as you’d imagine, a dry cough doesn’t produce mucus. That’s because a dry cough is usually caused by irritation or inflammation in your respiratory system. Dry coughs are often associated with allergies, laryngitis, or more serious conditions such as croup or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
If your cough comes in violent, uncontrollable attacks that are painful and leave you exhausted, you may have a paroxysmal cough. Pertussis, sometimes called whooping cough, is one example of a condition that causes paroxysmal cough.
The good news is that regardless of the cause of your cough, there are treatments that can help control your symptoms. If your cough has lasted more than a couple of weeks, or you’re concerned about your symptoms, book an appointment at Trusted ER. We have five convenient locations, and we also accept walk-ins, so you can get the prompt treatment you need.