Causes And Symptoms Of Wet Cough
Acute cough in adults most often occurs because of infections caused by microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses, like those that cause a cold or flu.
Other reasons why your body may produce more mucus than usual may include different health problems such as bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , cystic fibrosis, and asthma.
In a toddler or baby, a cough is most often caused by a viral infection or asthma. A wet cough in children may also be caused by inhaling a foreign body , cigarette smoke, or other environmental irritants.
A cough often begins with a dry hacking cough that causes heaviness in the chest and ultimately leads to coughing up phlegm as the illness progresses. It may feel like you have something stuck in your chest or a tickle at the back of your throat.
For immediate relief from chest congestion, Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, MD. has some pointers that would help you, which include, stay hydrated, use a humidifier or take a hot shower-the steam mist will help, hot tea , apple cider vinegar can help break up & loosen mucous/phlegm , a warm compress on the chest can help soothe symptoms.
Other signs and symptoms that can be associated with cough are a rattling or whistling sound when breathing-in or coughing , breathlessness, chest pain or tightness, and fever.
A cough may follow a sore throat or a cold, and can be worse in the morning. It can affect your work and sleep, and it can disturb others around you, too.
Whats The Difference Between A Dry Cough And A Wet Cough
A cough is your bodys way of clearing the lungs and airways of irritants so you can breathe better.
When you have an illness that affects your respiratory system, you may cough up mucus. This is a wet cough. Healthcare providers consider a wet cough to be productive because it clears phlegm from the lungs and airways. If too much phlegm builds up in the lungs, you may become short of breath and develop other problems.
When you have a dry cough, nothing comes up. This unproductive cough doesnt open up the lungs or air passages.
Home Treatments And Remedies For Wet Cough
Cough is a common reflex, and it is the bodys mechanism to clear the airways of irritants. Cough may be acute, lasting less than three weeks, or chronic, lasting for more than eight weeks.
There are different types of cough: dry, wet, or whooping. The treatment for cough, of course, depends on its nature and causes.
A wet or productive cough, i.e., cough that produces phlegm, indicates that your body is producing more mucus than normal.
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Bronchitis & Pneumonia Explained
Cold and flu season is here, and dodging these illnesses at school or the office can be a challenge when they are going around. While most people recover from colds and the flu quickly, either of these can lead to bronchitis or pneumonia.
Bronchitis and pneumonia share many of the same symptoms of cold and flu. By determining the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia, you can seek the proper treatment and be back on the road to recovery much more quickly.
Both bronchitis and pneumonia affect the airways, resulting in coughing and discomfort. Their biggest difference is how! In short, bronchitis is an inflammation of the airways while pneumonia is an infection of the lungs.
Questions About Your Symptoms
Bacterial pneumonia, which is the most common form, tends to be more serious than other types of pneumonia, with symptoms that require medical care. The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Fever may rise as high as a dangerous 105 degrees F, with profuse sweating and rapidly increased breathing and pulse rate. Lips and nailbeds may have a bluish color due to lack of oxygen in the blood. A patient’s mental state may be confused or delirious.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia usually develop over a period of several days. Early symptoms are similar to influenza symptoms: fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle pain, and weakness. Within a day or two, the symptoms typically get worse, with increasing cough, shortness of breath and muscle pain. There may be a high fever and there may be blueness of the lips.
Symptoms may vary in certain populations. Newborns and infants may not show any signs of the infection. Or, they may vomit, have a fever and cough, or appear restless, sick, or tired and without energy. Older adults and people who have serious illnesses or weak immune systems may have fewer and milder symptoms. They may even have a lower than normal temperature. Older adults who have pneumonia sometimes have sudden changes in mental awareness. For individuals that already have a chronic lung disease, those symptoms may worsen.
When to call a doctor
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When To Get Treatment For A Wet Cough
Most wet coughs do go away on their own. Home remedies and over-the-counter cough medicines can help relieve symptoms. Contact your provider if the cough lasts longer than three weeks or you are:
- coughing up thick, yellow-green mucus
- short of breath or are wheezing
- have a high fever
- have minor chest pain.
Wet Cough Vs Pneumonia
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What Is A Dry Cough Exactly
Theres actually no specific medical criteria to classify a dry cough and a wet cough, explains David Cutler, M.D., a family medicine physician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. Thats because its open to interpretation. Your wet cough might seem like a dry cough to me, he says.
But, in general, a dry cough means youre coughing but nothing is coming up, like phlegm or mucus, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network. If youre regularly producing phlegm when you cough, youre likely dealing with a wet cough.
Many things can cause a dry cough, including allergies and being indoors with dry air all day , Dr. Holmes says. Any irritation in your throat can also cause a dry cough, she says. Postnasal drip, gastroesophageal reflux , asthma, and smoking are also common triggers.
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But, Javaid says, a dry cough doesnt necessarily mean you have coronavirus and even if you do, your odds of getting better are very high. A dry cough in itself can happen for hundreds of different reasons.
Whether a cough is dry or wet, patients should stay inside and monitor symptoms. If the fever and cough last, it may be time to call a doctor. The vast majority of people should be more concerned about preventing the illness from spreading. Prevention tactics include hand-washing, disinfecting your surroundings and not touching your face.
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Ask About Cough Medicine
You may be tempted to guzzle cough syrup. But keep in mind that coughing is your bodyâs way of trying to clear the mucus out of your lungs, and you need that to happen. So ask your doctor if you should take any cough medicine. If the hacking keeps you from getting enough rest, you may be able to take the smallest dose that lets you fall sleep. Or try a warm mixture of honey and lemon instead.
How To Prevent Coughing
Although it cannot be completely avoided, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you do not come down with a flu or cough. Here are some examples:-
- Avoid getting in contact with others who are or might be sick.
- In case you are sick, avoid going to school or work, to prevent spreading the infection.
- Sneeze or cough with your nose and mouth covered.
- Increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated.
- Keep the common areas of your home or work clean.
- Always wash your hands, especially after coughing, eating, using the bathroom, or looking after someone who is sick.
- If your cough is due to allergy, then you can identify the allergen that affects you, and avoid exposure to them.
One daily habit, that could prevent chest congestion, according to Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, is to, stay hydrated- most important thing to do.
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What Causes Acute Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection. This is most often the same viruses that cause colds and the flu. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection, or by physical or chemical agents that are breathed in. These may include dusts, allergens, and strong fumes, including those from chemical cleaning compounds or tobacco smoke.
Acute bronchitis may come after a common cold or other viral infections in the upper respiratory tract. It may also occur in people with chronic sinusitis, allergies, or those with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. It can be serious in people with lung or heart diseases. Pneumonia is a complication that can follow bronchitis.
When To See Your Doctor About A Cough That Wont Go Away
Its a good rule of thumb to make an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider if your cough hasnt gone away after 3 weeks.
Your doctor can evaluate your cough and help identify any underlying conditions that may be causing or contributing to it.
Additionally, see your doctor right away for any cough that:
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When To Call Your Doctor For A Dry Cough
Experts say there are a few reasons to call your doctor about a dry cough:
Your cough isnt improving after five to six days.
Youre coughing up blood or blood-tinged phlegm.
You have chest pain.
You have shortness of breath.
And, of course, if youre unsure if you need help, it doesnt hurt to at least check in with your doctors office to be sure everything is OK.
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What Can Cause A Persistent Cough
While many coughs are acute, some may persist for a longer period of time. A cough may linger for several reasons, including:
- Postnasal drip.Postnasal drip happens when your sinuses produce too much mucus. The mucus can drip down your throat, causing you to cough. Allergies are one common cause of postnasal drip.
- Infections. A cough that continues even after a respiratory infection has cleared up may be caused by disruption and hypersensitivity of the airways due to the infection.
- Underlying health conditions. Underlying health conditions can also lead to, or contribute to, a persistent cough. This includes conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , asthma, and cystic fibrosis. Acid reflux can also lead to persistent cough.
- Smoking:Smoking cigarettes is a leading risk factor for developing a chronic or persistent cough.
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What Are The Symptoms Acute Bronchitis
The following are the most common symptoms of acute bronchitis. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Back and muscle pain
- Watery eyes
The symptoms of acute bronchitis may look like other conditions or medical problems. Talk with a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
What Is A Wet Cough Symptoms Treatment And What To Do If It Doesn’t Go Away
In your everyday life, you might toss around terms like “wet” and “dry” to describe your preferred style of martini or food you feed your pets. But those adjectives also describe the type of cough you’re dealing with.
Here, experts break down the meaning of “wet cough,” also known as a “productive cough” . Here’s how it differs from a dry cough, plus the wet cough symptoms, potential causes, and treatment options to know about.
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Treatments To Improve Cough Efficiency And Clear Phlegm
Some of the treatments below help improve cough efficiency. Others decrease mucus in the back of the throat, thereby reducing the need to cough.
Expectorants and mucolytics
Expectorants and mucolytics are medications that thin the mucus and make it less sticky. This makes it easier for people to cough it up.
These medications work best for people who have a wet cough but are having difficulty getting the phlegm up.
Airway clearance devices
Airway clearance devices, such as the oscillating positive expiratory pressure device, use pressure and vibration to help shift phlegm from the airways during exhalation. This helps improve cough efficiency.
A 2014 review investigated the efficacy of PEP therapy in the treatment of stable bronchiectasis. The review included seven studies involving a total of 146 participants. The researchers found that PEP therapy improved cough effectiveness and sputum expectoration compared with no treatment.
Gargling with salt water
Gargling with salt water is an easy home remedy that may help alleviate a wet cough. The salt water may decrease mucus in the back of the throat, thereby reducing the need to cough.
A range of different salt water recipes are available. Most, including that of the American Dental Association, recommend mixing half a teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. People should consider gargling this a few times per day to reduce phlegm.
What About Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is caused by bacterial infection that affects cells in the airways and causes irritation and secretion.
Symptoms include coughing fits that end in a loud, breathing in noise that often sounds like a long whoop and leaves you gasping for air. Mucus is often expelled.
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Prolonged, forceful coughing can damage your airways, or cause rib fractures or muscle tears so its important to know when medical help is required.
So whatever your cough sounds like, keep an eye on it and see a doctor if it doesnt go away or gets worse.
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What Does A Wet Cough Feel And Sound Like
That mucus plays a major role in how your cough feels. Wet coughs generally occur when there’s inflammation within the lungs, causing an increase in mucus production, says Dr. Han. In some cases, you may even have trouble breathing due to the extra phlegm, she adds.
With a dry cough, however, you might notice a tickling sensation in your throat before you start coughing, and it may feel dry or irritated afterward.
The sound of your cough also can tell you if it’s wet or dry. A wet cough typically sounds like something’s rattling in your chest. If your doctor listened to your lungs with a stethoscope, they might hear crackles, wheezing, or ralesas well as small clicking, bubbling, or rattling sounds when you inhale, says Dr. Nesheiwat. A dry cough, meanwhile, can come with a hoarse or “hacking” sound.
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Treatment For Acute Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis will usually resolve on its own within a couple of weeks, with complete healing of the airways and return to full function. Hence, the aim of treatment is to control symptoms. Antibiotics are not usually effective because most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viruses. They should only be used if bacterial infection is strongly suspected or confirmed by testing.
Treatment of acute bronchitis involves:
- Adequate rest and fluid intake
- Using medications available at the pharmacy to relieve muscle aches and pains and headaches, and to reduce fever
- Using cough suppressants for a dry cough but not a productive cough
- Using expectorants for productive cough, to help clear the airways of sputum
- Quiting smoking and avoidance of other airborne irritants
- Use of medications that open obstructed airways in people who have associated wheezing with their coughing or underlying asthma or COPD.
In children with acute bronchitis, the main target of treatment is the control of fever and aches and pains, which can be achieved with medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen from a pharmacy.
People prone to bronchitis can try to avoid infections, such as colds and flus, through:
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Treatment At Florida Medical Clinic
Most healthy people can recover from either bronchitis or pneumonia within a few weeks of treatment. However, complications can arise from either a cold or the flu. In these cases, its important to see your doctor as soon as possible to prevent your condition from worsening. The sooner that you seek treatment, the shorter your recovery time will be!
What Is Acute Bronchitis
Bronchitis is inflammation of the breathing tubes. These airways are called bronchi. This inflammation causes increased mucus production and other changes. Although there are several different types of bronchitis, the most common are acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis may also be called a chest cold.
Most symptoms of acute bronchitis last for up to 2 weeks. The cough can last for up to 8 weeks in some people. Chronic bronchitis lasts a long time. It is more common among smokers.
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When Does A Cough Turn Into Pneumonia
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So youve been coughing for a while, and instead of getting better, it seems like your cough is getting worse. Maybe youve even started coughing up phlegm or have pain in your chest when you cough. Those are signs your cough might actually be pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection in your lungs that can range from mild to life-threatening, which causes your lungs to fill up with fluid or pus. You may experience difficulty breathing or have a fever. If youre a healthy young adult, pneumonia might not be as serious as it is for very young kids or adults over age 65.
Whether youve had your cough for three days or three weeks, knowing the symptoms of pneumonia and when to go to the doctor can help put your mind at ease.