Coughing is a defense mechanism used by the body to keep the throat and airways clear, helping the body rid itself of accumulated waste and toxins in the lungs. Usually, the cough appears and can last up to three weeks while keeping the airways open; at other times, it becomes a persistent symptom that must be examined by a specialist to determine its cause.
The cough may be dry or release a kind of mucus known as phlegm. In most cases, the cough is acute when it appears as a symptom of a cold, flu, or sinus infection and disappears within three weeks. The cough can also be subacute when it lasts between 3 and 8 weeks and becomes chronic when it lasts more than eight weeks. Coughing can be a symptom of many conditions and pathologies, so in this FastlyHealarticle, we explain when to go to the doctor for a cough.
Why we cough and the causes of cough
Coughing is a reflection of the body produced by a deep and noisy aspiration of air that is in the lungs and that, in some cases, also suggests the expulsion of mucus. Coughing, caused by irritation in the respiratory tract and can be dry or phlegmy, helps clear the lungs naturally.
Some of the most common causes of cough are:
- Sinus allergies: of the nose or paranasal sinuses.
- Sinusitis or postnasal drip.
- Cold or flu.
- Respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
- Asthma, pulmonary emphysema, or EPOC.
- Medicines to treat blood pressure.
- Tobacco use.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Lung disease or lung cancer.
When to go to the doctor for a cough
Coughing is a common symptom of many conditions such as the flu or the common cold; however, on some occasions, it complicates becoming a chronic cough that a specialist must treat. Sometimes the cough is the body’s response to being attacked by infections or more complicated diseases, which can accompany the cough with other symptoms that suggest going to the doctor to determine its cause. Below you will find a series of situations in which it is recommended to go to the doctor for a cough:
- The cough is accompanied by shortness of breath or shortness of breath.
- In addition to coughing, there are hives or swelling of the face and difficulty swallowing, or a sore throat.
- Swelling in the legs and a cough that worsens when lying down can signify heart failure.
- Cough after being in contact with a person with tuberculosis.
- Cough with involuntary weight loss and chills.
- When a three-month-old baby has a cough, it is necessary to go to the doctor.
- It is required to go to the specialist when the cough lasts more than three weeks.
- If the cough is accompanied by a fever, it may signify an infection that requires treatment with antibiotics.
- When the cough is accompanied by a kind of whistle when breathing.
- If the phlegm expelled after coughing is yellowish, thick, and with a bad smell, you should also see a doctor.
- When the cough is sudden, it does not go away and is not accompanied by another symptom.
- When the expulsion of blood accompanies the cough.
How is the medical consultation
In a medical consultation for coughing, the specialist will perform a complete physical examination and auscultate the person to explore the sounds in the chest walls while breathing to determine the degree of severity of the cough and if there is difficulty breathing or even if there is the presence of some breath. Depending on the symptoms that the person experiences, the specialist may request a CT scan or chest x-ray to assess the state of the lungs and bronchi.
Likewise, when you go to the doctor for a cough, the person will also be asked a series of questions so that the doctor can orient himself and know what may be causing the discomfort. It is essential to be fully descriptive and emphatic in details such as:
- When did the cough start?
- If the cough is dry or with phlegm.
- If pain or difficulty in breathing.
- If blood has been expelled when coughing.
- If the inertia smells terrible.
- If you have had a fever.
The more information provided to the specialist, the more tools they will have to make an adequate diagnosis that, together with the physical examination, will allow them to find the cause of the cough and determine the ideal treatment to treat both the symptom and the condition that is it. Producing.
Treatment for cough
- Cough drops or minty hard candies help relieve a dry cough.
- Using a humidifier or breathing in steam from boiling water can help calm a cough as it helps to increase humidity and improve the discomfort of a dry throat.
- When the cough is with phlegm, it is essential to drink a lot of liquids to dilute the mode and facilitate its expulsion.
- Don’t smoke, and stay away from tobacco smoke if you are a smoker.
- If you think your cough is allergic, cover your pillows and mattress with a unique dust mite cover and use an air humidifier.
Home remedies for cough relief
While going to the doctor for a cough, you can alleviate the discomfort with some home remedies for cough, which you can easily prepare and will allow you to expel the phlegm if the cough is productive or calm the cough when it is dry.
Aloe Vera Syrup and Ginger
- 3 aloe crystals.
- Fifteen grams of watercress leaves.
- 1/2 cup of ground ginger.
- 75 ml of honey.
- The juice of 3 lemons.
- 1 glass of water.
Preparation: Process all the ingredients in the blender until you get a thick mixture. If you have difficulty mixing the honey, add more water. After the preparation is ready, add it to a glass container and store it in the fridge. Take three tablespoons three times a day.
This home remedy to relieve cough is very effective since the expectorant benefits of ginger, watercress, and honey are mixed with the soothing properties of aloe vera together to help reduce the frequency of coughing and dilute phlegm facilitate its expulsion, and calm the dry cough.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.