Dealing with the occasional cough is not usually a big deal. In fact most people don’t even consciously recognize when they cough. Most of the time, a cough is pretty harmless and not worth concern, but more severe cases are worth being aware about and can raise alarm, such as chronic coughing. Visit or contact North County Health Services if you are noticing a cough more often than usual, it starts to hurt, or anything else that makes you feel concerned.
Learn more about the common types of coughs, treatment, and more.
Types of Coughs
The purpose of a cough is to help clear the airway in your body. A cough by that definition is a helpful mechanism that your body usually does automatically. What causes coughing can vary from person to person and situation to situation, but it comes down to the body automatically trying to clear the airway for you. There are a variety of different “types of coughs” which can indicate other issues worth looking at.
- Postnasal Drip – sounding like either a dry or wet cough, this type of cough is caused by mucus dripping down your throat, often due to a cold or allergies. You may have a postnasal drip type of cough if it worsens at night, with a tickly feeling at the back of your throat. You may also notice itchy eyes and sneezing more often than
- Asthma – a dry cough ending with a wheeze or rattle, inflamed airways are common among people who have asthma. This can cause the process of coughing to be more uncomfortable or painful than usual and can even lead to difficulty breathing. An asthma type of cough is even more noticeable at night or while exercising, accompanied with chest tightness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – acid from the stomach can sometimes come back up through the esophagus, resulting in a dry, spasmodic cough. This type of cough is the second most common cause of chronic cough. You may have GERD if your cough gets worse when lying down or eating.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – a chronic, hacking cough. You’ll notice a lot of mucus, especially in the mornings. The primary cause of COPD is smoking. Other symptoms that you may notice are shortness of breath, wheezing, fatigue, and chest tightness as the day progresses or as a result of physical activity.
- Medication-related Cough – sounding like a dry cough, certain medications (especially ACE inhibitors for treatment of high blood pressure) can cause a cough in 1-in 6 patients. You may notice that coughing begins as early as a few weeks after beginning those medications.
- Pneumonia – a wet cough (that initially starts off as a dry cough) with mucus, colored yellow, green, and/or red. You may notice that you have a fever, difficulty breathing, pain when breathing in deeply, chills, and more.
- Whooping Cough (pertussis) – this type of cough sounds particularly severe, with a hacking sound that ends with a “whooping” sound as you breath in. You may notice other symptoms including watery eyes, a fever, stuffy/runny nose, and more. Whooping cough treatment is treated with antibiotics.
If you have any of these common types of coughs, reach out to us at North County Health Services to learn more about treatment solutions. If you’re concerned that your cough may be indicating something more severe, please contact us immediately. It’s always better to play it safe than to put it off and think it’s not serious.
Treatment for Coughs
The types of cough that you have can indicate a need for different forms of treatment. Some over-the-counter medication may be available as cough treatment. The underlying cause of the cough will need to be treated.
Natural remedies are also available which may help in your situation, like saline washes and steaming to relieve congestion.
Contact us today at North County Health Services to learn more about your cough and the available treatment available at our health centers. We’ll help you make a full recovery or reduce the discomfort and pain of your cough. Simply give us a call: simply give us a call, contact us, or schedule an appointment to get started. We can help you find the most convenient location nearby