How do I know if my cough is serious?

A cough can be a symptom of a variety of conditions, some of which may be serious. If you experience any of the following, it is recommended to seek medical attention:

  1. Cough that lasts for more than 2-3 weeks.
  2. High-grade fever, sweating, and chest pain.
  3. Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing.
  4. Bluish or gray skin, lips, or nails.
  5. Coughing up blood or rust-colored mucus.
  6. Weight loss and fatigue.
  7. A weakened immune system due to a chronic illness or medication.
  8. Chest or rib pain.
  9. Wheezing or whistling sounds with breathing. Note: This is not an exhaustive list, and the severity of a cough can depend on several factors. It’s always best to consult a doctor for a proper evaluation.

Get immediate medical attention if you develop additional symptoms. Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • fever
  • chest pain
  • headaches
  • drowsiness
  • confusion

Coughing up blood or having difficulty breathing also require immediate emergency medical attention.