Many people assume that, even though they respect the experience, knowledge and professional acumen of medical professionals, they know best when it comes to their body. This refusal to see the doctor often results in nothing but a few days off ill in bed, before a full recovery, and it is always sensible to make judgments based on your own body and how you feel.
A persistent cough is often overlooked, with some coughs being brought about as a side-effect from the common cold or even due to the person having spent a few days outside in freezing temperatures. You should, however, always have a persistent cough checked out by a medical doctor for the following five fundamental reasons.
The Danger of COPD
First and foremost, and especially if you are a full-time smoker, writing off your persistent cough as a ‘smoker’s cough’ could mean you lose valuable treatment time for something more serious, namely COPD.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is the umbrella term for a group of medical conditions associated with the lungs, namely chronic bronchitis, which is an inflammation of the airways and emphysema, whereby the lung’s air sacs are damaged.
Whether you smoke or not, if you have had a persistent, wet, or dry, cough that has lasted longer than a few days, it is better to be safe than sorry and to see a medical professional at the reputable Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, Florida).
A Wet Cough is the Main Sign of Pneumonia
As previously mentioned, your cough could always be nothing to worry about. Still, if it is lasting longer than a few days and, more specifically, is more of a wet cough than a dry and scratchy one, then you should have it checked to confirm you do not have the onset of pneumonia or bronchitis.
Essentially an infection of one or both of the lungs, pneumonia also displays symptoms such as shortness of breath, a high fever, chest pain when inhaling, and the aforementioned wet cough. Even if you have just one or two of these symptoms, do not delay in booking an appointment with your medical doctor, who will use a combination of your medical history, a thorough physical exam, and often additional lab tests to ascertain whether your wet cough is a sign of something more serious.
The Possible Development of Lung Cancer
The aim of this article is not to scare you, but moreover to encourage you to make that appointment with the doctor, no matter how small your complaint might seem, even during what has become one of your busier weeks, so that in the event of an underlying illness or disease, it can be dealt with quickly and effectively.
Responsible and forward-thinking treatment centers do all they can to educate not only people who are undergoing tests and scans for signs of lung cancer, but also their relatives, to ensure that they are aware of what to look out for themselves.