When a Cough is More Than Just a Cough
When you have an ongoing cough, everyday activities like work meetings, going to the movies, or trying to sleep at night suddenly become things you dread. You may feel, in addition to the physical discomfort, annoyance.
A cough at its best is a nuisance. However, a cough at its worst can indicate more serious health problems.
So, how do you know when a cough is more than just a cough?
Distinguishing Between Coughing and Chronic Coughing
Most coughs last an average of a few days to a couple of weeks and can be linked directly to an acute illness like one of the following:
- The common cold
- The flu
However, if you have a cough that is lasting more than two weeks, you are experiencing persistent coughing, also known as chronic coughing.
What Your Cough May Be Trying to Tell You
If you are suffering from persistent coughing, you are not alone! In fact, chronic coughing is more common than you’d think, and it consistently ranks as one of the top reasons patients see their doctor.
Persistent coughing should be taken seriously, as it may be a sign that you have one or more of the following health concerns:
- Acid Reflux
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Dehydration/Lack of Proper Fluids
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Severe Anxiety
- And more
If you’ve been coughing for longer than you feel you should be, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. Not seeking the proper care or treatment could have major health consequences, as serious as experiencing a heart attack, or worse.
The Dangers of Untreated Chronic Coughing
Coughing may seem harmless enough, but left untreated, months of persistent coughing can lead to severe physical and emotional distress, such as:
- Continued interrupted sleep which leads to insomnia
- Impaired concentration that affects both work and home life
- Feelings of anxiety over the inability to control or quit the cough
- Urinary incontinence
- Broken ribs as a result of forceful continued bouts of coughing
Chronic coughing is nothing to brush off, so be sure you know the signs and symptoms to watch for, and call your doctor if you have a cough lasting more than 14 days.
Request an Appointment
Our doctors at LeBauer HealthCare are experts in diagnosing and treating cases of chronic cough. With locations across Greensboro and the surrounding area, you’re sure to find an office that’s convenient for you.