Get Treatment for Your Cough Symptoms in Ridgefield, CT
Having a cough can cause pain and discomfort and make it difficult to sleep and complete normal daily activities. While most coughs resolve on their own without medical attention, persistent or particularly serious coughs may require a visit to a medical provider. If you’re experiencing a persistent cough, turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care in Ridgefield, Connecticut, for prompt treatment.
Common Cough Causes
There are several different causes of coughs, which can all be classified as acute (lasting less than three weeks), subacute (lasting three to eight weeks), or chronic (lasting more than eight weeks). Here are several common causes of coughs:
The common cold causes most acute coughs. Colds result from respiratory viruses—most commonly, the rhinovirus. In addition to coughing, colds can produce symptoms like:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches
Most coughs caused by a cold go away on their own within a few days to a week. If you have a cold and your cough and other symptoms linger for more than 10 days, visit PhysicianOne Urgent Care for treatment and relief.
Bronchitis is caused by inflammation of the lining of the bronchi, which are the airways that deliver oxygen to the lungs. It usually results from a virus (such as the common cold), but bacteria and irritants like dust can also trigger bronchitis. There are two types:
- Acute bronchitis – This is caused by an infection and usually resolves on its own within a few weeks.
- Chronic bronchitis – This is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that’s almost always caused by smoking cigarettes. Bronchitis is classified as chronic when someone experiences a productive cough for at least three months and has continuous or recurring bouts of symptoms for at least two years straight.
Acute bronchitis can cause coughing with significant mucus production (a wet cough) as well as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and fatigue. These symptoms can typically be managed at home with rest and self-care. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention right away:
- A fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Bloody or discolored mucus
- Wheezing or severe shortness of breath
- Symptoms that keep you awake at night or last longer than three weeks
Pneumonia can be bacterial, fungal, or viral in nature, and causes the air sacs in the lungs to become inflamed, which results in a wet cough and other symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
While milder cases of pneumonia (also called walking pneumonia) can resolve on their own, treatment may be necessary for more serious cases. At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we can diagnose pneumonia with our on-site X-ray capabilities and lab as well as provide treatment, all within the same visit.
Asthma can cause symptoms such as:
- Chest tightness
- Trouble sleeping comfortably
Allergies often produce symptoms similar to those of the common cold, but are caused by environmental triggers such as pollen, mold, pet dander, and so forth rather than a virus.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a chronic condition where stomach acid reaches the esophagus, causing heartburn, coughing, nausea, vomiting, and bad breath.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
As mentioned above, COPD is mainly caused by smoking tobacco and results in symptoms like frequent coughing, wheezing, and excess mucus production.
Wet Cough vs. Dry Cough
When you cough, do you feel like there’s something stuck at the back of your throat? Does your cough produce any phlegm or mucus, or is it accompanied by wheezing or a rattling sensation in your chest? If so, you likely have a wet cough. This type of cough can be caused by a number of different conditions, including pneumonia, bronchitis, and COPD. Most of the time, coughing up phlegm is simply your body’s way of clearing an infection or irritant from the lungs. However, if you cough up phlegm even when you don’t feel sick, it can be a sign of something more serious. Visit us right away if that happens.
If instead it feels like you have a tickle at the back of your throat, you likely have a dry cough. Some of the conditions that commonly cause a dry cough include sinusitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, allergies, and GERD. Notably, COVID-19 can also cause someone to experience a dry cough—click here to learn about the COVID-19 testing options we have available.
Signs a Cough is Getting Better
Even if you’re still coughing, there may be signs that your condition is improving. For example, your bouts of coughing may become shorter, and you may feel less of a need to take cough medication. If you have a wet cough, the mucus you’re producing may become thinner. And if your cough was accompanied by other symptoms and those have improved, it can signal that your cough will get better soon, too.
When to Visit PhysicianOne Urgent Care for a Cough
If your cough persists for longer than a week or is particularly severe, visit PhysicianOne Urgent Care right away. Our Ridgefield urgent care center is open every day of the year with extended hours, so you can stop in at the time that’s best for you. You’ll find us at 10 South Street, Suite 101, right off of Danbury Road. If you’d prefer to receive medical attention for your cough symptoms from the comfort of your own home, you’ll be glad to know that we also offer 24/7 integrated telehealth services. We accept most major insurances, have reasonable self-pay rates, and never require referrals.