Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are my coughs serious?"
I've had a cough for around 6 months, though it comes and goes in severity. Usually it's brought on by lying down, but I carry this "cold" (like I'm breathing cold air) type feeling in my chest. When I start, I usually have these elongated coughs, and very little comes up when I try to clear my throat with the cough. Is this serious?
Sorry to hear that you have had a cough for so long. While most of us will intermittently have to deal with symptoms of a cough, it is important to know what signs and symptoms suggest that we need to see a doctor. In general, if you have concerns about your cough (or any other symptom, for that matter) you should see a physician. Specifically with regards to cough, some sort of cough can be common following an upper respiratory tract infection for up to a few months according to some researchers. By that criteria, you have passed the amount of time that would be expected for someone to still have a cough. This alone would indicate that you should speak with your physician about your concerns. There may be other symptoms that could be concerning, or may suggest a cause. Obviously, smoking can cause a cough, but it can also raise your risk of serious medical problems that can also cause a cough (such as cancer). Acid reflux and post nasal drainage can also cause coughing that will persist for some time, and asthma or allergies can do the same. Please speak with your doctor about your cough, and good luck.
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