A common symptom in many illnesses, especially colds and flu, is a cough. There are different types of coughs that you can experience, with some coughs being more problematic than others. It’s important to pay careful attention to your symptoms to help determine the type of cough you have and whether or not your cough needs to be checked out by your healthcare provider.
What Type Of Cough Do You Have
There are two types of coughs, acute, which comes on suddenly and lasts temporarily, and chronic cough, which lasts more than eight weeks. The different types of coughs you may have at one point include a dry cough, wet cough, a barky-sounding cough, Whooping cough, a night cough and a cough with wheezing. Many people wonder what do different coughs mean. Here are four tips for understanding the type of cough you have.
1. Listen to the Sound
The first thing to check with a new cough is its sound. The sound of the cough may help you figure out if it’s a cause for concern. If you hear a “whoop” sound in between the coughs, this may be a sign of pertussis. A loud, barking sound in a cough may be a symptom of croup. You can also listen for sounds of phlegm coming up, as heard in a wet cough, or for the sound of a dry cough.
2. Identify Other Symptoms
Cough signs and symptoms are often accompanied by other indications of illness. If you add up all of the symptoms together, it may help you and your medical team determine the cause of your cough. A viral infection, such as a cold or the flu, may produce symptoms like fever, sore throat, body aches and chills.
3. Track How Long the Cough Lasts
It’s also key to understand how long the cough lasts. Acute coughs of two months or less may be triggered by illness, while long-term chronic coughs may have a different cause. People with asthma and allergies may cough due to irritation from allergens or poor air quality. Smokers may also develop a chronic cough. Chronic coughs should always be checked out with the medical provider.
4. Check for a Productive Cough
The last thing to check if you wonder, why am I coughing a lot, is if your cough is productive. A productive cough is one that produces mucus in the nose, airways and mouth. After coughing, you may feel phlegm in your throat. Resist the urge to take cough suppressant medicine if you are producing phlegm. If you have blood in your mucus after coughing, contact your doctor.
Get Relief From Your Cough
Coughing can keep you up at night and stress you out. There are some ways to help get a little relief from an annoying cough. Having a humidifier on as you sleep may help quiet a persistent cough. Drinking warm tea with honey can also soothe your throat. Always check with your doctor for other ways to get relief.
If you have a cough, try to determine its characteristics so you can treat it properly. Work with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.