Quick Answer: How Do I Know If My Cough Is Serious?

Why is my cough not going away?

Here are some of the most common causes of chronic cough: An infection.

If your cough did accompany a cold, pneumonia, or the flu, keep in mind that it can linger for a while after the infection has cleared.

There are other, less-common infections to be wary of, however, including fungal infections and tuberculosis..

How do I know if my cough is viral or bacterial?

Coughing that starts out dry is often the first sign of acute bronchitis. Small amounts of white mucus may be coughed up if the bronchitis is viral. If the color of the mucus changes to green or yellow, it may be a sign that a bacterial infection has also set in.

Why is my cough worse at night?

When you’re lying down, mucus will start pooling in the back of your throat, aka postnasal drip. Another reason why coughs get worse at night is acid reflux. Don’t forget that acid is an irritant to the throat, much like mucus, germs, or dust.

How do you get rid of a nagging cough?

19 natrual and home remedies to cure and soothe a coughStay hydrated: Drink lots of water to thin mucus.Inhale steam: Take a hot shower, or boil water and pour into a bowl, face the bowl (stay at least 1 foot away), place a towel over the back of your head to form a tent and inhale. … Use a humidifier to loosen mucus.More items…

When should you worry about a cough?

Most coughs only last a few days to a few weeks and they are usually caused by a common virus. However, you should see a doctor about your cough if: You have had it for more than three weeks. Your cough is very bad or is getting worse.

How many coughs per day is normal?

As the diaphragm and other muscles involved in breathing press against the lungs, the glottis suddenly opens, producing an explosive outflow of air at speeds greater than 100 miles (160 km) per hour. In normal situations, most people cough once or twice an hour during the day to clear the airway of irritants.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a phlegm cough?

Home remedies for mucus in the chestWarm fluids. Hot beverages can provide immediate and sustained relief from a mucus buildup in the chest. … Steam. Keeping the air moist can loosen mucus and reduce congestion and coughing. … Saltwater. … Honey. … Foods and herbs. … Essential oils. … Elevate the head. … N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

What can cause a cough to last for months?

If you’re like most people with a lingering cough, consider these major causes:Postnasal drip (also called the upper airway cough syndrome). … Asthma. … Gastroesophageal reflux disease. … Chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis. … Therapy with angiotensin-converting–enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

How long is too long to have a cough?

It is best to see a doctor for coughs that persist for longer than 3 weeks, as they may indicate something more serious. A cough occurs when the lungs or airways become irritated. The most common cause of a cough is the common cold, which does not usually require medical attention.

How do you know if your cough is bacterial?

The symptoms of a bacterial infection and a virus are often very similar—fever, muscle aches, cough, and sore throat—but they require different treatments….Make an appointment if you have:Symptoms that last more than 10 days.Recurring fevers.Shortness of breath.Excessive yellow or green mucus.

How long do you have a cough before going to the doctor?

See a GP if: you have had a cough for more than 3 weeks (persistent cough) your cough is very bad or quickly gets worse – for example, you have a hacking cough or cannot stop coughing. you feel very unwell. you have chest pain.

What is a persistent cough a sign of?

While it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the problem that’s triggering a chronic cough, the most common causes are tobacco use, postnasal drip, asthma and acid reflux. Fortunately, chronic cough typically disappears once the underlying problem is treated.

What to do if you are constantly coughing?

Lifestyle and home remediesDrink fluids. Liquid helps thin the mucus in your throat. … Suck on cough drops or hard candies. They may ease a dry cough and soothe an irritated throat.Consider taking honey. A teaspoon of honey may help loosen a cough. … Moisturize the air. … Avoid tobacco smoke.

Is it normal for a cough to last 3 months?

Less often, a cough lingers for several weeks, months, or even years. When you keep coughing without an obvious cause, you may have something serious. A cough that lasts eight weeks or more is called a chronic cough. Even chronic coughs often have a treatable cause.

What does a bronchitis cough sound like?

Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis Coughing — you may cough up a lot of mucus that’s clear, white, yellow, or green. Shortness of breath. Wheezing or a whistling sound when you breathe.