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Most Common Types of Coughs

There are many different ailments that carry coughs with them as a symptom. The act of coughing exists to clear your air passages and allow you to breathe more easily. You can’t always tell the reason for a cough from the way it sounds, but each kind of cough does have its own identifying clues. Here are some of the most common kinds.

The Postnasal Drip Cough

This kind of cough can be either wet or dry, but is caused by mucus drainage from your sinuses down the back of your throat. This drip tickles your nerves and makes you cough. It is normally caused by either allergies or the common cold. It is worse at night and is generally accompanied by a tickling feeling in your throat and sometimes watery, itchy eyes and sneezing.

For allergies, try an antihistamine or, in severe cases, your prescription medication. For a cold, get plenty of fluids, rest and chicken noodle soup!

The Asthma Cough

This dry cough usually ends with a wheezing or rattling. Those with asthma are well-acquainted with the inflamed air passages that cause difficulty breathing and bring on these kinds of coughing. When this cough rears its head, hit the inhaler or make sure you’ve taken your meds.

Bronchial or Pneumonia Cough

This one starts off dry but after a few days turns wet and is accompanied by mucus that is yellow, green or red/rust colored. It is accompanies by fever, chills, pain in the chest and breathing troubles. If you have these symptoms it is important to get checked out by a doctor, as bronchitis and pneumonia are very serious illnesses.

Whooping Cough

This illness is generally accompanied by symptoms that start off like the common cold, but gets worse and worse as it progresses. Finally it becomes a serious, hacking cough that concludes with the whooping sound for which the disease is named. Whooping cough can be so harsh that it causes you to throw up or have trouble breathing between episodes.

Whooping cough was nearly eradicated by vaccinations in the 1940s but is seeing a resurgence today, with nearly 50,000 cases reported just three years ago.


This horrible lung disease recently took the life of noted actor Leonard Nimoy. Its cough is chronic and hacking, and brings up a lot of mucus. It is the worst in the morning and improves as the day progresses. It is generally accompanied by shortness of breath, fatigue, tightness in the chest and wheezing.

This chronic illness also includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema and smoking is the primary cause.

If you are having severe coughing fits, you should immediately call a physician to look you over. While you may think you know what’s wrong, only a qualified doctor can tell for sure. Your cough may be caused by something as basic as a bad reaction to medication, or it could be more serious. If you think you may have a problem from coughing, give us a call today. We are here to help.

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