Doctor shares reasons why a cough could last a few weeks after having a cold

If you’ve just come out of a cold, you might be pleased that you’re finally feeling better. But despite your energy levels coming back up and the sore throat finally subsiding, you might still be stuck with some uncomfortable lingering symptoms.

One of the annoying signs that seems to stick after you are mostly recovered is cough. Many patients seem to be complaining of cough that simply won’t go away.

Dr Mallika Marshall has revealed there are many different reasons why you might be left with a persistent cough after you’ve just battled the common cold. The good news is that most of them aren’t a cause for concern and can be treated with antihistamines or other prescription cough remedies.

The doctor explained that some patients may otherwise feel fine but still battle a post-nasal drip, or mucus that drips down the back of their throats. This can trigger a cough that often feels worse when you lie down.

People who have just recovered from a cold might also suffer from something called post-viral tussive syndrome, Dr Marshall explained. This causes the cough receptors in your airways to become hypersensitive to things including phlegm, dust, smoke, or cold air.

Fortunately, both of these post-cold problems can be targeted with antihistamines or other prescription cough remedies, the expert advised. However, patients may also suffer from other conditions following a cold.

Dr Marshall penned for CBS News: “You could also have acute bronchitis, a viral infection that also causes wheezing and shortness of breath. And if you smoke, you’re also more likely to have a lingering cough when you get a cold.”

The doctor also warned of persistent symptoms that warrant medical attention. She added: “If your cough lasts more than two months or you develop fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood, you should see your doctor.”

Worryingly, one of the potential reasons behind constant coughing and blood in your cough could be lung cancer. The NHS explains that there are usually no signs or symptoms of lung cancer in the early stages.

However, the following red flags may appear as the condition progresses:

  • Cough that does not go away after three weeks
  • Long-standing cough that gets worse
  • Chest infections that keep coming back
  • Coughing up blood
  • Ache or pain when breathing or coughing
  • Persistent breathlessness
  • Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.

The health service recommends seeing a GP if you suffer from any symptoms linked to lung cancer.

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