A lingering cough is one of the many sounds we naturally associate with cold weather. Some coughs are nothing to worry about, but others require medical attention. Learning to tell the difference can be a challenge.
Understanding your cough is an important part of getting the right care. This article will outline types of coughs as well as important symptoms to note that may warrant getting checked out.
Causes of a Cough
To determine the cause of your cough, you must first know what type of cough you have. This determination is very easy to make.
Any cough lasting less than 3 weeks in length is considered acute. Many acute coughs come as the result of an illness, including upper respiratory infections, covid, influenza, or even the common cold. An acute cough can also be caused by environmental factors, including allergens like dust and pollen.
Any cough lasting longer than 8 weeks is considered a chronic cough. While a cough is not considered chronic until 8 weeks, coughs that last between 3 and 8 weeks is a lingering cough. Chronic coughs often have more serious causes, including COPD, post nasal drip, smoking, and even heart disease.
Symptoms To Consider
When trying to determine if you need medical care, there are a few specific symptoms that are worth special consideration.
Coughing Up Mucus
One helpful distinction to make is between a dry cough and a wet cough. A dry cough does not bring up any fluid or mucus, also known as a non-productive cough. A wet cough is a cough that brings up mucus, also known as a productive cough. In most cases, a wet cough is of greater concern as it means your body is trying to clear mucus. If your cough is productive, it is worth getting medical attention.
The longer a cough lasts, the more worthy of attention it becomes. This does not mean, however, that acute coughs do not need attention. If your cough lasts for more than a few days, it is worth visiting an urgent care clinic to get checked out.
Other Symptoms of Illness
Coughs often come with other illnesses. If your cough is part of other symptoms, including a runny nose, sore throat, headache, or fever, that combination warrants a visit to an urgent care clinic.
Book Your Care Today
For all of your coughs, Live Urgent Care is here to help.
At Live Urgent Care, our board-certified providers are standing by. Our urgent care centers are ready 7 days a week to help diagnose and treat your toughest coughs. We also offer telehealth visits for added convenience. Find the location nearest you and book ahead whenever you need.