Coughing and sneezing are the body’s automatic reflex reactions to get rid of inhaled dust, germs, and mucus that irritate your airways. A sneeze is to get rid of something you inhaled through your nose, and a cough is to expel something out of your throat and airways.
The common cold is caused by a mild viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, and one of its symptoms is a cough. A cold usually lasts from one to two weeks, and there is no cure for it except to rest and stay hydrated. For relief from your cough and congestion, you can use throat sprays, lozenges, and saline nasal drops. The goal of over-the-counter cold medication is to relieve its symptoms and to shorten its duration.
Complications that are associated with an upper respiratory tract infection include secondary infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. If your cough persists, you should see a doctor so that the issue does not develop into even more serious respiratory conditions.
Signs a Cough Is More than a Cold
There are certain signs that point to a cough potentially indicating more than a cold, including the following:
- Long-lasting cough. A cough that is persistent and lasts more than a few weeks may be a sign of something serious. Once a cold runs its course, the symptoms will become less severe and you will begin to feel better. A deep cough that lasts for months could be a sign of lung cancer.
- Cough that is not getting better. A cough that is only getting worse may be due to bronchitis, which is an inflammation of the mucus membranes that line the bronchial tubes.
- A cough that occurs with unusual symptoms. A cough that is due to a cold is usually accompanied by sneezing, a runny nose, and a stuffy nose. Symptoms that are not normal include wheezing, difficulty breathing, a high fever (greater than 101.3 degrees F), and coughing up blood. Expectorating blood can be a sign of bronchitis, pneumonia, or lung cancer.
- A cough that returns. A cough that comes back for no apparent reason can indicate a reinfection. It could be that you were vulnerable to other types of infection as you were recovering from a cold. A cough that returns and does not show signs of improvement within a few weeks may be a sign of chronic bronchitis.
Pulmonologist in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, make an appointment with a skilled pulmonologist. Pulmonologists specialize in conditions and diseases of the lungs and the respiratory system, and this type of specialist can diagnose your condition efficiently and accurately and then get you on a treatment that works for you.
For superior lung care and more, the highly qualified pulmonologists and medical staff here at Intercoastal Medical Group can take care of all of your healthcare needs. Our pulmonologists treat patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, tuberculosis, and lung cancer, to name a few. Intercoastal Medical Group pulmonologists have offices in Sarasota, at the Cattleridge Medical Building, 3333 Cattlemen Road, Suite #106, Sarasota, 34232 (941) 379-1799 and in Lakewood Ranch at 11505 Rangeland Parkway, Bradenton, FL 34211 (941) 362-8662
If you have any questions or would like to request an appointment with any of our pulmonologists or other healthcare providers, contact our location nearest you or fill out our convenient online form. Our goal is to help you breathe better.