Coughing: When it is More Than Just a Cough?

Coughing is often of no real consequence in terms of your health and well-being. Yet, at other times it can be a very serious issue that can indicate a wide variety of issues and problems.

A simple fact of life is that there are lots of viruses and bacteria out there that are looking to make us their homes. Once they achieve this goal, the results are most certainly not in our favor. Some coughs can be indicative of a respiratory tract infection, which can be quite serious. However, when most people get a serious cough that lasts several days, it is related to the common cold.

The Complex Reasons We Cough

The cough associated with the common cold usually goes away with the cold itself or shortly thereafter. There are a variety of herbs and supplements that you can take which often will get rid of coughs. Some of the best choices include Echinacea, peppermint and slippery elm.

Yet, if you find that you have a persistent cough whose source you simply cannot identify, you should see your doctor. A "mystery cough" can, in fact, be a serious issue and stands out as a major warning sign of potential problems. If your cough lasts several weeks and does not go away even with over the counter treatments, then there are a variety of potential problems, ranging from pneumonia or bronchitis to tuberculosis and lung problems, such as tumors.

Now we must pause for a moment. Just because you have a serious and persistent cough does not mean you have a serious disease or will soon face the Grim Reaper! Instead, a cough should simply be treated as a potential warning sign.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

There are many reasons that people cough, and your issue may be as simple as an allergy, the common cold or poor indoor air quality. Indoor air is often several times more contaminated than outside air. Luckily, there are several steps that you can take to improve your indoor air quality and, in the process, help take some of the pressure off your lungs.

Five Easy Steps to Improve Your Air Quality and Reduce Your Coughing Symptoms

One step that is both easy and free to accomplish is to open up a window or two. Even cracking a window slightly can be very effective in improving your indoor air quality. Secondly, consider buying a few hearty indoor plants, such as snake plants and ferns, such as the Boston fern. Both of these plants are excellent for cleaning the air and take very little general care. The snake plant, in particular, is very tough. Third, keep your home or apartment's air filters clean. Invest in a high quality air filter and replace it often. Fourth, vacuum, mop or sweep frequently, as this will collect potential pollutants.

If you develop a long lasting and serious cough, don't panic. Instead visit your doctor and also look for the potential causes of your cough. Everything from exposure to pollution and poor indoor air quality to allergies could be the culprit.

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