Sometimes It Isn’t Just A Cough – Reasons To Keep An Eye On That Cold

We’ve all experienced that cough that just won’t go away, right? It’s one of the main reasons people visit the doctor’s office believe it or not! A lot of the time it is something harmless (well not worrying anyway!) Such as allergies, asthma, or even GERD. But from time to time it can be something far more insidious! So don’t ignore a cough get it checked out because it may be the following:

A whooping cough

Yeah, I know this was supposed to be eradicated due to use of vaccines. The problem is that not everyone gets a vaccine, do they? In 2012 alone more than forty-eight thousand cases were reported to the CDC and 20 people died from it!

Be concerned if…

Obviously, you will have a severe cough, but the thing to look out for is the trademark “whooping” sound as you inhale after coughing. Initially, it begins with flu-like symptoms. A cough will develop after a couple of weeks and may be so intense that it causes vomiting.

Lung cancer

Two-thirds of those diagnosed with lung cancer have a chronic cough. And it’s not just smokers at risk one in four lung cancer sufferers have never smoked a cigarette in their life!
.
Be concerned if…

If your cough has persisted for more than two weeks, in fact, that is good advice in general! In particular look out for bloody or rust coloured mucus and pains in your chest. Although these symptoms can be caused by something as easily treatable as adult-onset asthma it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry!

Pneumonia

Apart from feeling totally wiped out the main symptom on Pneumonia
Is a persistent cough that gets worse at night (to be fair most coughs do!) trying to treat Pneumonia with over the counter cough medicines can actually be counterproductive as these can prevent you from being able to eject the mucus and fluid from your lungs.

Be concerned if…

Once again look out for the magic two-week marker. If your flu-like symptoms persist beyond that time period it may be Pneumonia. Of course, you might want to visit the doctor before then if you start having issues breathing, have chest pains, a high fever or are coughing up green, yellow, or blood-tinged pus.

cough

COPD

COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects more than 7 million women in the US alone. There are two kinds of COPD chronic bronchitis and emphysema. You are probably aware that this condition is far more common in smokers and incidents of the condition have increased exponentially in the past three decades. Although it affects both men and women fatalities are far more common in women.

Be concerned if…

Sorry but smokers need to be most aware! You will have a hacking cough that produces a vast amount of mucus (commonly referred to as smokers a cough) this will be more common in the morning. You may also suffer from shortness of breath, wheezing and a tight feeling in your chest. If you suspect you are suffering from this get it checked out straight away. Studies prove that an early diagnosis is a key to survival! Oh, and stopping smoking is a must…sorry.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis or TB as it is commonly known as a disease caused by Mycobacterium. Until recently it had become pretty rare in the United States but has seen a recent increase. Globally it is worryingly common with more than 10 million cases worldwide. You are more at risk if you have a compromised immune system or if you have spent time in an area where the disease is common such as Africa and Eastern Europe.

Be concerned if…

Your cough lasts more than 2 weeks (seeing a pattern here) and presents with pains in your chest. Other signs are fever, weight loss and coughing up blood. Without treatment, the disease can spread to almost any of your other systems and can be fatal. There is a reason the condition used to be called consumption.

Start the discussion

to comment