We might take coughs lightly but if your cough stays around for a while it might be a warning sign of a serious health problem.
Not all of us are concerned about cough because most of us associate it with a common cold or a scratchy throat. However, if the cough persists for more than a couple of days, it becomes a matter of concern. Chronic cough that lasts for eight weeks or longer in adults or four weeks in children should be given attention, according to Mayo Clinic. It will not only disrupt your sleep and make you feel exhausted but it might also be a warning sign of serious diseases such as asthma, tuberculosis, etc.
Here are a few illnesses that start with a minor cough that we might just ignore:
According to Health 24, an early symptom of heart failure is a dry, hacking cough especially when the individual is in a sleeping position. Fluid congestion that is a build-up of fluid in the lungs is very common with heart failure. This congestion is responsible for the wheezing and coughing says Heart Rhythm Society. While coughs can be dry in some, others cough up mucus or phlegm.
Pulmonary edema is a condition caused due to the excess fluids in the lungs. These fluids build up in numerous air sacs, making it difficult for patients to breathe. As per the American Lung Association, this sickness can cause cough and shortness of breath. People suffering from this condition cough up pink, frothy spit according to WebMD.
This condition is an inherited disorder that causes damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body. Cystic fibrosis is known to affect the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices. Thick and sticky mucus clogs the tubes that are responsible for carrying air in and out of the lungs. This leads to severe cough with thick mucus.
It is an inflammatory disease that is known to affect many organs in the body such as the lungs and the lymph glands. People suffering from the condition develop abnormal masses or nodules consisting of inflamed tissues in certain organs of the body. A continuous dry cough is one of the initial warning signs of the illness. Patients also find it difficult to breathe properly.
According to NIH, this illness is caused when the pressure outside the lungs keeps it from expanding or when there is not enough surfactant for the lungs to expand normally. This, in turn, makes an airway blockage making it difficult for the lungs to deliver enough oxygen to the blood. If this occurs in a small part of the lungs, it does not produce any signs. However, if it affects a larger part it causes coughing and shallow breathing.
Individuals who smoke are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer. The condition usually starts with the growth of abnormal cells in the bronchial walls according to Health 24. One of the warning signs produced by the disease is brassy coughing sound. It is caused by the intrabronchial protrusion of the tumor. If the cough stays around for three weeks, visiting a doctor is important. In the advanced stages of cancer, patients tend to cough up blood which calls for immediate attention.