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3 different types of coughs you should know

Coughs and other upper respiratory conditions are all too common. In fact, upper respiratory conditions were the most common diagnosis in urgent care centers in 2012. But when you have a cough it could mean different things.

Sure, it could mean you just had a tickle in your throat. However, for more serious coughs, it's important to know what they could mean and when to seek medical attention. So let's take a look at a few different common types of coughs.

Wet coughs: When you have a cold, the flu or another illness, chances are that you'll have a wet cough. A wet cough is a cough that produces mucus as the body tries to clear mucus from the respiratory system. Generally, wet coughs come with other symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion or postnasal drip. This is why you may feel something dripping down your throat when you have a wet cough.

Depending on its cause, a wet cough may last just a few weeks. But some in some cases, like in those with pneumonia or bronchitis, the cough may last longer.

Dry coughs: Dry coughs are the most common type of cough. They do not come with the production of mucus, so that can actually make dry coughs more uncomfortable. They're generally hard to control, and the throat can become increasingly irritated.

Like wet coughs, a dry cough can be a symptom of a cold or the flu. A dry cough can even be caused by conditions like asthma and allergies or simply from exposure to certain irritants. Fortunately, using a humidifier can generally lessen a dry cough. If it persists, a visit to a walk-in medical clinic can help -- doctors may be able to prescribe cough medicine.

Whooping cough: Also known as pertussis, whooping cough is caused by a bacterial infection. This type of cough comes in uncontrollable, often violent waves and can make it difficult to breathe. In some cases, it can even cause the person to vomit.

Because vaccination is available for those over the age of two months, babies have a much higher risk of having this type of cough. Whooping cough is extremely contagious so if someone is showing symptoms, they should seek help at a walk-in medical clinic as soon as possible.

Having a bad cough can be frustrating and sometimes even dangerous to your health. So if you have a persistent cough, make sure to seek medical attention at a walk-in clinic to get it cleared up.


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