What can make it worse: cold air, exercise, dust, the changing seasons.
Most sudden cases of cough are caused by a virus, and last for lessthan three weeks.
Your Doctor Visit
What your doctor will ask you about: runny nose, sore throat,facial pain, sputum production, coughing up blood, trouble breath-ing, trouble breathing except when upright, wheezing, chest pain,fever, chills, sweats, weight loss, leg pain, or ankle swelling.
Your doc-tor will also want to know if you’ve ever had a positive test for tuber-culosis, or if you’ve had a chest X-ray, and what it showed.
Your doctor will want to know if you or anyone in your family hashad any of these conditions: lung infection, cardiovascular disease,lung disease, tuberculosis, asthma, AIDS, heartburn, heart valve dis-ease, bronchitis or bronchiectasis, pulmonary embolism, lung tumor.
Your doctor will want to know if you smoke cigarettes or havebeen exposed to tuberculosis or industrial dusts such asasbestos.
Your doctor will want to know if you’re taking any of these med-ications: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (such ascaptopril), beta-blockers.
Your doctor will do a physical examination including the fol-lowing: temperature, weight, breathing rate, checking sinuses for tenderness, checking the throat for redness, listening to the chest andheart with a stethoscope, checking limbs for swelling or tenderness.
WHAT CAN CAUSE COUGHING, AND WHAT IS TYPICAL FOR EACH CAUSE?
Cause: Upper respiratory infection
What is it: Common cold and other infections of the nose and upper respiratory airways
Typcal Sypmtoms: Runny nose, sore throat, facial pain, general malaise
Cause: Bacterial infections
What is it: Pneumonia or other infections of the airways and lungs
Typcal Sypmtoms: Begin over a few hours or days, usually accompanied by coughing up green oryellow fluid, fever or chills,sometimes coughing upblood, chest pain, fever
Cause: Bronchitis or bronchiectasis
What is it: Infection or inflammation in the air passages leading to the lungs (bronchitis), or destruc- tion and opening of the airways caused by another disorder (bronchiectasis)
Typcal Sypmtoms: Chronic cough, trouble breathing, coughing up sputum, symptoms worsening in morning
What is it: Recurrent attacks of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath brought on by certain triggers
Typcal Sypmtoms: Dry cough, sometimes trouble breathing and wheezing, often aggravatedby exercise, cold air, a recent cold, taking beta blockers
Cause: Croup (child)
What is it: Infection of the voice box
Typcal Sypmtoms: Barking cough, wheezing, fever, hoarseness, typicallyappears after a cold, morecommon in childrenbetween 6 months and 3 years old
Cause: Whooping cough (child)
What is it: Bacterial infection that produces coughing spasms that produce a “whoop” sound
Typcal Sypmtoms: Fever, wheezing, staccato cough, nausea, vomiting, most severe in infants
Cause: Medication use
What is it: Captopril or other angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (to treat high blood pressure), beta-blockers
Typcal Sypmtoms: Normal
What is it: Also known as GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease), the movement of stomach acid up into and through the esop- hagus, which connects the throat to the stomach; can lead to ulcer
Typcal Sypmtoms: Burning upper abdominal pain, worse when lying flat or bending over, particularly soon after meals, relieved by antacids or sitting upright
Cause: Cigarette smoking
What is it: Damage caused by long-term habit
Typcal Sypmtoms: Coughing up small amounts of sputum; overtime can lead to lung disease
Cause: Chronic lung disease
What is it: Diseases of the lungs such as bronchitis or emphysema
Typcal Sypmtoms: Trouble breathing, cough and coughing up sputum worsen when first wake upfrom sleep, more commonin smokers or peopleexposed to industrial dust
What is it: Psychological or emotional problems
Typcal Sypmtoms: Barking, loud cough, occurring more often indaytime
What is it: Infection by tuberculosis,most common in people with compromised immunity, such as patients with AIDS or who have had organ transplants
Typcal Sypmtoms: Fever, night sweats, weight loss, chronic cough, coughing up blood
Cause: Congestive heart failure, mitral stenosis
What is it: A condition whereby the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs (heart failure), or disease resulting from problems with a heart valve (mitral stenosis)
Typcal Sypmtoms: Nighttime cough, trouble breathing except when upright, ankle swelling, family history of rheumatic fever or heart valve disease
Cause: Lung tumor
What is it: Abnormal growth of cells in the lungs
Typcal Sypmtoms: Change in cough pattern, chest ache, coughing upblood, more common incigarette smokers
Cause: Pulmonary embolus
What is it: Blood clot that blocks the blood vessels feeding the lungs
Typcal Sypmtoms: Chest pain, apprehension, sweating, feeling faint, coughing up blood, rapidbreathing, sometimes his-tory of calf pain or legimmobilization such as onlong trips
- respiratory failure
- coughing exercise
- cold and cough