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"Should I go to the doctor if I have had a cough for over seven days?"

ZocdocAnswersShould I go to the doctor if I have had a cough for over seven days?


Cough just won't clear up. Usually when I get them they are gone in like 5 days but it has been like 8 or 9 now. Should I go to the doctor? Kind of tired of coughing and taking cough medicine at this point.


I would definitely recommend that you go to see a doctor at this point. Most coughs are caused by a common cold or other viral infection, and these do tend to run their course without treatment. However, most of the time, symptoms should be better after a week, so at day 8 or 9 you are definitely at the outer edge of when symptoms should be improving. I would suggest that you start with your primary care doctor, who can examine your throat and lungs, as well as give you a general quick exam, and help figure out if there is something more serious going on. Sometimes, a common cold will predispose you to developing bronchitis, which is an infection of the large tubes in the upper parts of the lungs, or pneumonia, which is an infection deeper in the lungs. Sometimes, cough that lasts as long as yours has means that one of these infections is settling in, especially if you also have fever, shortness of breath, or if your cough is producing thick mucus. Your doctor will be able to rule in or rule out these possibilities. If you do end up having bronchitis or pneumonia, you will need antibiotics, which your doctor can prescribe for you.

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