Coughing is a way for the body to get rid of irritants or foreign invaders. Once something aggravates the throat, the nervous system sends signals from the brain, which responds by telling the abdomen and the chest to contract to get rid of the irritant. Coughing is a vital reflex that protects the body from smoke, allergens, and mucus.
However, constant coughing can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition that will require further investigation by a healthcare provider. Keep in mind that if an individual is coughing forcefully and suffers from trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, an inability to speak, wheezing, panic, and/or blue skin, then choking or other serious issues may arise.
GuruMD offers urgent care for coughs, allowing you to speak with a board-certified professional at our on-site facility. Here are some basic things to know about coughs.
Coughing is a healthy protective mechanism to prevent irritants from getting further to the body. However, if the cough persists for several weeks or if it is accompanied by bloody or discolored mucus, then that may indicate a medical condition that requires further intervention. Prolonged and vigorous coughing can irritate the lungs and result in fatigue, headaches, vomiting, broken ribs, or dizziness.
There are two types of coughing, wet coughing and dry coughing. A wet cough produces mucus and is often caused by pneumonia, COPD, asthma, bronchitis, and a cold or flu. A dry cough does not result in any mucus production and is often caused by an upper respiratory infection, such as sore throat, croup, tonsillitis, laryngitis, GERD, and medication side effects from an ACE Inhibitor.
Symptoms Associated with Coughing
Common signs and symptoms that may accompany a cough are:
- Postnasal drip
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Frequent throat clearing
- Sour taste in the mouth
- Shortness of breath
- In rare cases, coughing up blood
How Does GuruMD Treat a Cough?
At GuruMD, we offer urgent care for patients with coughs. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of a cough, all you have to do is create an account to speak with a medical provider online or in person.
Our board-certified professionals can interview you to conduct a proper assessment and treatment plan. First of all, the doctor may have to check your medication list. For example, certain medications like ACE inhibitors (used for treating hypertension) can result in constant coughing.
Another diagnostic strategy is conducting a chest x-ray and CT scan to check for potential pneumonia, tumors, obstructions, or other underlying conditions. A pulmonary function test can diagnose asthma or COPD. If the doctor suspects a potential infection, he or she may ask for a sputum test. After obtaining the results, the doctor can initiate proper treatment.
For asthma-related cough, bronchodilators and corticosteroid medications are the best. If everything is normal and allergies are the culprit, then the doctor may prescribe an antihistamine or decongestant. Cough syrup or medication can be prescribed for a viral infection that resulted in throat irritation and coughs. If your doctor suspects a bacterial infection, then they may prescribe an antibiotic.
Are you experiencing cough symptoms? Register for your GuruMD account now to get the treatment you need.