Coughs can be caused by a variety of reasons. Typically, coughs are nothing to be worried about as many daily irritants can cause you to cough, but if it persists then you should get checked by a medical professional.

Coughs can be caused by a variety of reasons. Typically, the occasional cough is nothing to be worried about as many daily irritants can cause you to cough, but if it persists then you should get checked by a medical professional. 

What Causes Coughing?

Coughs are caused by a variety of illnesses that are temporary, but coughing can also indicate that you have a chronic health condition or viral infection. You may only cough for a few minutes when you are exposed to an irritant such as cigarette smoke or cooking odors, but if you have a respiratory infection, then you can have a severe cough for several days or weeks. Individuals with lung damage from smoking or long-term exposure to pollutants can cough throughout the day and night. You may also cough when you have a cold to reduce the phlegm in your throat, or you might cough to eliminate the acids that collect in the esophagus from having gastroesophageal reflux disease.

You Can Have Other Symptoms with Coughing

  • Hoarseness
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Excess saliva
  • Sinus congestion
  • Postnasal Drip
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Chest pressure
  • Runny nose

For most types of coughs, you can determine if you have a cold or if you are having an allergic response to pollen. However, if your coughing symptoms last longer than normal or cause severe pain, then you should have an examination from a physician. Additional reasons for visiting a physician for a chronic cough include producing large amounts of phlegm or producing blood when you are coughing (these are symptoms of a wet cough).

One of our team members will examine your throat, listen to your breathing and take X-rays of your lungs to determine if you have bronchitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, or lung cancer. There are also skin tests to determine if you have tuberculosis.

What Are Some of the Treatments for Overcoming a Cough?

There are different treatments for coughing episodes that depend on what is causing the problem. Some of the treatments for coughs include:

  • Cough suppressants – helps you to rest
  • Acid blockers – reduce the production of stomach acids
  • Asthma medication – inhaled medications to widen the airways
  • Antibiotics – useful for tonsillitis, tuberculosis, or strep throat that causes coughing
  • Decongestants – releases the congestion in the sinuses
  • Antihistamines – turns off the coughing reflex in the brain
  • Throat lozenges (cough drops) – soothes the throat to prevent coughing
  • Vaporizer – creates warm moist air to reduce dry cough
  • Fluids – warm or cold beverages
  • Chemotherapy – treatment for lung cancer

If you follow your physician’s treatment plans and take cough medicines as prescribed, then you can overcome a temporary health problem that causes a cough and you can manage major medical issues that cause coughing.

Come into WellCare

If you have a persistent cough and are concerned that it might be related to a bigger problem then come into WellCare Urgent Care in Grand Rapids. Our team will help to find the underlying cause of your cough and create a treatment plan for you. We offer online scheduling for same-day appointments at our Cascade and Leonard locations.

Should I visit Urgent Care or Emergency Room?

Urgent Care

When you have any medical condition that is non-life threatening or have general medical needs, then an Urgent Care center can take care of these. WellCare Urgent Care takes care of a variety of medical concerns such as the flu, vaccinations, physicals, allergy symptoms, and more.

WellCare Urgent care is convenient because it is quick and cost-effective.

Average visit time: 1 hour
Average cost: $150

Emergency Room

Emergency care is necessary when you are suffering from a life-threatening condition. This could be a heart attack, stroke, head injury, or other trauma that requires more advanced treatment. If you or someone you love has a life-threatening illness or injury, then you need to call 911 and get to the closest Emergency Room.

Emergency Rooms, while the best option for serious trauma, do take time and are costly.

Average Time Spent: 4.5 hours
Average Cost Per Visit: $1700

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