Nobody wants to deal with coughing and hacking during the holidays. As a result of influenza and influenza-like illness, which is increasing this season, many of us are already experiencing such symptoms.
But how long should it take? When could it point to something that needs more than over-the-counter medications? Such questions would probably have occurred to you if you had a particularly severe coughing fit.
"If your cough has passed the 18-day mark, it may be time to see a doctor," Dr. med. Benjamin Kaplan, dr. Internist at Orlando Health. If this seems much longer than you expected, you are not alone.
One study found that most patients expect a cough of no more than seven to nine days, about half of the above figure. The researchers determined how this could increase the risk of unnecessary antibiotic use.
A chronic cough, defined by a duration of at least six to eight weeks, is an indicator of an underlying medical problem. Although duration is a factor, you should be aware of the accompanying symptoms that may alert you to something.
For example, gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause persistent cough without heartburn. You may have a reason to suspect this if you have bad breath and a sour taste in your mouth.
Besides, Dr. Kenneth Patton of Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati recently noted an increase in respiratory disease infection. As a rule, a persistent post-nasal drip (which continues even after infection) is responsible for the cough.
Most patients report shortness of breath, which gradually worsens, unlike the sudden onset of the flu. "They're pulling back, their ribs are doing a lot of work, you can see their neck muscles, you can really see that they breathe heavily," Dr. Patton.
If you are a smoker or someone If you are second-hand you should know that the tobacco smoke itself can prolong the cough. There is also the possibility of lung cancer if the cough is accompanied by chest pain, unexplained weight loss or bloody sputum. If any of these symptoms occur, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure early detection.
In other cases of chronic cough, the doctor may suspect asthma and will choose to perform a pulmonary function test. Kaplan. There is also a type of astigmatism known as a cough, which is more difficult to diagnose.
The bottom line is you do not have to worry just because your cough lasts more than ten days. See a doctor if you notice that this is due to non-prescription medications and home remedies or does not respond. As mentioned earlier, be aware of concomitant symptoms as they may help your doctor make the correct diagnosis.