Did you know that when you cough, it is a signal to your body that something is wrong? When your body gives your cues, you should pay attention and care for yourself. As you start hacking, it’s common to wonder if you should see a doctor or just let it pass. Knowing when to visit an urgent care for your cough may seem difficult to determine, but the type and duration of the cough are the determining factors. There are generally two ways to describe a cough: wet and dry.
This refers to the fact that no mucus is being produced. The dry cough often sounds like “barking,” and it is most associated with sinus infections, viral illnesses, and influenza (or flu).
This kind of cough is accompanied by phlegm. The wet cough is commonly associated with post-nasal drip, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
It is important to note that the common cold can go either way (wet or dry), and in most cases, it will go away on its own. Other illnesses, such as the flu may start with a dry cough and then progress to a wet cough as congestion settles in the lungs. The recommendation is that if your cough does not go away within three weeks, it’s time to visit an urgent care doctor for medical treatment.
Another sign that it’s time to see a doctor is if you notice the cough is so strong that you feel like vomiting at the end of harsh hacking. This could mean that you have Whooping cough or another serious illness that requires treatment. Coughs that last eight weeks or more are most likely not going anywhere without some help. These long-lasting coughs can be caused by other things, such as acid reflux or Asthma. The length of your cough will be the test to whether visiting an urgent care is necessary.
Most illnesses that cause coughing can be prevented. You have a better chance of staying healthy by washing your hands, disinfecting your home, getting plenty of rest, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet. You can help prevent spreading your illness to others by washing your hands often, staying home when you’re sick and, if you have to be out, wearing a mask to avoid spreading germs via your hands or through the air.
If you find yourself in need of medical treatment for ongoing coughs, CareXpress Urgent Care is here for you at several locations. Click here for our locations and hours of operation.