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"I have had a bad cough for about two weeks now, but no other symptoms. What could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI have had a bad cough for about two weeks now, but no other symptoms. What could it be?


I'm a 25 year old stay at home mom with two young children. For the last few weeks, I have woken up with a nasty cough that persists throughout the day. I have no other symptoms though. I am wondering what could it be and is it something I need to see a doctor for since I do not want to pass it on to my children.


A cough lasting one week has a variety of possible causes. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about an acute cough is an upper respiratory tract infection. The fact that you have two young children at home means that you are probably exposed to more respiratory viruses than the average person. However, it would be unusual for this to not cause other symptoms such as a runny nose. Bronchitis is another possibility but again, feeling run down should or some other symptom should be a component. If your cough continues beyond a week and doesn't go away after a month, then it may be prudent to explore causes of a chronic cough. These include asthma, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, and the use of ACE inhibitors (a medication for blood pressure). The fact that you have this cough in the mornings makes gastro-esophageal more likely. As you lie flat acid from your stomach can move up your esophagus and drip into lungs causing irritation and a cough. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she ca review your recent medical history and perform a thorough physical exam. Hopefully your cough will go away soon.

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