Can't Hack the Cough?

Call your doctor if . . .

SUNDAY, Dec. 1, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Do you have a nagging cough, but you're not sure if it's worth a visit to your doctor?

The November issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter says you should get that cough checked if:

  • You have a known risk of lung disease. This includes previous lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or if you're a past or current smoker.
  • Your cough lasts 4 to 6 weeks. Possible causes of your cough could include undiagnosed asthma, stomach acid backing up into the esophagus, and medication side effects.
  • The cough is accompanied by fever or shortness of breath. In such cases, you should see your doctor immediately.
  • You notice a change in the color of your sputum. If your sputum is blood-tinged, you need to get immediate medical attention, especially if you're also experiencing chest pain. If your sputum is yellowish or greenish, you may have a bacterial infection.

More Information

Here's where to go to find out more about chronic cough.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, November 2002
Consumer News