This time of year, it seems like almost everyone has a cough — and once you catch a cough, it can be hard to get rid of.
But when does a normal winter annoyance turn into something you should worry about?
Here are 5 warning signs that you should get that cough checked out by a medical professional.
- Your cough comes with unexplained weight loss. When these symptoms appear together, they could signal a dangerous progressive disease like tuberculosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- A barking noise associated with your cough. A barking or whooping noise could mean that you have adult-onset whooping cough, which can be serious if left untreated.
- If you’re a non-smoker and your cough lasts more than a couple of weeks. A chronic cough that isn’t associated with an illness like a cold or flu can be a warning sign of some cancers.
- You are coughing up strange phlegm or blood. If it alarms you when you cough it up, get it checked out.
- During a coughing fit, you become short of breath. This could be a warning sign for a number of serious conditions like COPD and even HIV. Get checked out as soon as you can.