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MomTalk.com November 20, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Quieting a Chronic Cough

Having a cough tends to be a nuisance-interrupting dinner, disturbing a quiet movie theatre or waking up your spouse in the middle of the night. But a prolonged, chronic cough-one that lasts for three weeks or more-may be a sign of something more serious.

Even for a short-term cough, it can be tough to figure out when to see a doctor. Since a simple cold can cause a cough, you don't need to schedule an appointment with your family physician immediately. First, ask yourself if your cough may be tied to an underlying infection. Are you coughing up blood or discolored phlegm? Do you have a fever? These may be signs of a respiratory infection, and your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to help.

By Karen Barrow

Having a cough tends to be a nuisance-interrupting dinner, disturbing a quiet movie theatre or waking up your spouse in the middle of the night. But a prolonged, chronic cough-one that lasts for three weeks or more-may be a sign of something more serious.

Even for a short-term cough, it can be tough to figure out when to see a doctor. Since a simple cold can cause a cough, you don't need to schedule an appointment with your family physician immediately. First, ask yourself if your cough may be tied to an underlying infection. Are you coughing up blood or discolored phlegm? Do you have a fever? These may be signs of a respiratory infection, and your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to help.

But if you answered “no” to these questions and your cough has persisted for at least three weeks, it is still important to see your doctor. Once a doctor can accurately diagnose the cause of a chronic cough, he or she can prescribe a treatment to help you quiet the cough and treat its underlying cause.

“Chronic cough is a common reason for physician visits in the United States,” writes Dr. Robert Holmes from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in the American Family Physician.

While smoking is one of the most common causes of chronic cough, for non-smokers, various conditions, such as asthma, postnasal drip and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), tend to be the culprit. Figuring out which of these is causing your cough takes a little bit of investigating.
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Categories: Health & Wellness, Women's Health,


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