September 22, 2023

FSM Media

by Dianna Ranere

When A Cough Might Be More Than A Cough

Photo by <a href="">Kelly Sikkema</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

It’s one of the most ubiquitous symptoms of all time. A cough might be nothing more than having an irritated throat. It might be a symptom of a passing bug. Or sometimes, it can be something more. It’s important to not worry too much about every little cough that hits you, but you should also know when you should visit your doctor and get some treatment. Here, we’re going to look at some of the symptoms that, alongside a cough, are worth looking at a little more closely. If you have any of these, then it might be more than just a standard cough.

You’re also experiencing dryness and irritation in other places

You might be coughing simply because you’re spending time in environments that aren’t all that good for you. If you’re experiencing dryness and irritation in your eyes, nose, throat, and skin, then poor air quality is likely to be a factor, whether it’s your home or your job that is making you sick. A check with the doctor can help you confirm the cause, and you might need to make some changes to ensure that you’re spending time in better air quality. Low air quality isn’t usually too threatening, but it can exacerbate or lead to respiratory conditions in the long run.

Coughing up blood

Also known as hemoptysis, coughing up blood is a relatively common symptom that can be caused by a range of things, from a harsh asthmatic reaction to a mild respiratory infection. However, it can also be a symptom of some much more serious issues, such as pneumonia and even lung cancer. As such, you should also see your doctor about coughing up blood. There is a good chance that it’s nothing to worry about, but it’s worth checking up on.

You’re losing weight unexpectedly

A lot of the conditions and illnesses that cause coughs can also cause weight loss. If you have a common cold, you might lose a little weight because you’re not feeling well and don’t want to eat. However, weight loss can also be caused by more worrying conditions such as acute bronchitis and, more vitally yet, some types of cancer. It’s likely to not be this but it’s worth getting checked out at the very least.

You’re finding it harder to breathe and getting fatigued

If you’re experiencing the bloody or phlegmy cough as mentioned above, but you’re also finding that you’re getting increasingly out of breath and, as a result, feel a lot more fatigued through the day, then it might be that there is something affecting your respiratory system. One such common cause is Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Lung Disease, which is an infection as a result of bacteria that normally don’t cause illness but get into the lung, and you should find NTM doctors near you if you’re concerned this might be the case. Of course, anyone might be out of breath after a coughing fit, but what you’re looking for is that it’s consistent after and getting worse, as well.

You’re experiencing chest pain

One thing that should be made clear: if you’re experiencing chest pain, you should always see a doctor about it. There’s a good chance that it might be nothing serious, that’s true, but there’s also a good chance that it might be something like heart disease, one of the most common chronic diseases around. If you’re experiencing it alongside a cough, then it might be something like pleurisy, which is an inflammation issue affecting the chest and lungs, which is usually treatable with antibiotics. The point remains, however: do not ignore chest pain ever.

What if you have COVID symptoms?

Of course, it’s very relevant right now to consider the chances that you might have caught COVID-19. Alongside coughing and other respiratory illness issues, you might experience symptoms like a fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, or body aches and pains. If you think you have COVID, you should not immediately go to the doctor. You should arrange for a test to confirm that you have it and, even if the test is not positive, try to avoid too much contact with others. You should, however, seek emergency care if you have chest pain, difficulty breathing, trouble staying awake, or mental confusion.

The most important thing of all is to make sure that you’re not overreacting to any little cough. If you’re coughing but you’re not experiencing any of the symptoms above, then there’s a good chance that there isn’t too much wrong with you. Of course, you can keep an eye on it, but it’s not likely to be an emergency.