Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Healthcare and Information

Sorting Different Types of Coughs and Their Severity

9 months, 4 weeks ago

3488  0
Posted on Feb 15, 2018, 10 a.m.

There are many types of coughs caused by many different conditions. Doctors need to know how long you’ve had a cough and the symptoms in order to properly diagnose and treat it. Some coughs will disappear on their own and some need to be treated medically.

There are many types of coughs caused by many different conditions. Doctors need to know how long you’ve had a cough and the symptoms in order to properly diagnose and treat it. Some coughs will disappear on their own and some need to be treated medically.

The following is a quick guideline to types, origins, and treatments.

  1. Cough with Cold & Flu Symptoms is probably the most common type of cough and is usually accompanied by phlegm, mucus, runny nose, sore throat, stuffy nose, and body aches. It may or may not have a fever depending upon whether the origin is bacterial or viral. Unfortunately, most viral infections do not respond well to anti-biotics.

  1. A Dry Cough is one that is long term and does not produce mucus or phlegm and is usually indicative of Asthma. It is most often accompanied by shortness of breath, a tight chest, and wheezing. Asthma should be treated asap to avoid serious complications.

  1. A Wet Cough is one that produces mucus or phlegm which comes up when coughing. Bronchitis, usually due to a virus, is the most likely culprit; the air passages swell and produce mucus.  Acute bronchitis usually comes right after a cold.

  1. A Wet Cough with Fever can be Pneumonia and is often accompanied by chills, fever, and shortness of breath. The phlegm or mucus produced may be yellow, green or bloody. Pneumonia is a serious, even life-threatening disorder. A doctor should be consulted immediately, with the mucus tested for virus or bacteria, and then be treated accordingly.

  1. A Wet, Persistent Cough is usually indicative of a long-lasting or chronic bronchitis. When you experience a wet cough daily for three months or more, it indicates inflammation of the airways. Smoking is the usual irritant and may lead to Emphysema or COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

  1. Smoker’s Cough that is hacking with a lot of mucus production and is a common sign of COPD wherein there is restriction of the airways. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, and tightness in the chest … which should be differentiated from a heart problem.

  1. A Sour Cough is one that leaves a sour taste in the mouth and can be a sign of indigestion, also called GERD – gastro-intestinal reflux disease. The belching of stomach fluid/acid can irritate the throat and cause a cough. Treatment is needed asap so as to avoid erosion and bleeding of the esophagus.

  1. Bloody Coughs require immediate emergency treatment as the blood can be from the lungs. It it’s frothy (bubbles) it indicates the blood is mixing with air from the lungs. This condition can be from a tumor, or infection. Either way its requires proper immediate attention from and emergency room.

A cough may be a symptom of a cold, especially when accompanied by a stuffy nose, body aches, or a sore throat. Rest and over-the-counter medications can help you feel better. Antibiotics do not help relieve the common cold. The cough may linger longer than other symptoms.

Sources:

Common Cold and Runny Nose. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/colds.html

What is COPD? National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd#

Cough. National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cough

Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors. American Lung Association. http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pneumonia/symptoms-causes-and-risk.html

Subscribe to our Newsletter

WorldHealth Videos

WorldHealth Sponsors