A cough is your body’s response to an irritant in the throat or airways. It is associated with myriad conditions that range from benign to serious.
Chronic Cough: Time to See the Ent
A persistent cough that lasts eight weeks or more warrants a trip to your ENT. In addition to keeping you up at night, distracting you at work and interfering with your personal life, it can also be a sign of a serious condition. Although most chronic coughs are caused by postnasal drip and allergies, a chronic cough can be a symptom of certain cancers and COPD as well.
Tips: How To Get Relief From Your Cough
Moisten the air
Run a humidifier or take a steamy shower to soothe your throat and open your airways.
Drink plenty of fluids
Water and warm tea with honey can relieve irritated tissues.
Stay away from tobacco smoke when you’re experiencing a cough because it can exacerbate your symptoms.
Use cough drops
Cough drops can soothe irritation and ease a dry throat.
It’s Particularly Important to See a Doctor if You Are Also Experiencing
- Night sweats
- Bloody mucus
- A high fever
- Shortness of breath
- Unintended weight loss
- Chest pain
At your appointment, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and order acid reflux tests, blood tests, lung function tests and x-rays to identify the underlying cause.
When Is Coughing A Sign Of Something Serious?
An occasional cough is normal and healthy. However, if your cough persists for several weeks and/or is associated with bloody mucus, you should see a doctor promptly for a thorough evaluation.