Why Do We Cough?
Coughing is a defensive reflex that helps to remove foreign particles from the respiratory tract. Coughs are classified as productive (eliminates phlegm) and unproductive (dry cough). However, long-term daily coughing is a sign that there is something wrong. It may just be a common cold that will run its course, or indications of something more serious such as the flu, pneumonia or whooping cough.
What is Whooping Cough?
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Its main symptom is an uncontrollable, violent cough that makes it difficult to breath. People of all ages can contract pertussis. For babies less than a year old, the disease is more likely to be fatal. For this reason, it is very important for pregnant women and others who have close contact with an infant to be vaccinated against whooping cough. Sugar Land Physicians offers a vaccine to protect you against whooping cough. Learn about this vaccine here.
Your Sugar Land Physicians clinician will examine your throat, use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs, and ask questions about your symptoms. In addition, he or she will want to know whether you smoke and other things that could possibly be causing your cough. Do you have allergies, asthma or other medical conditions? The clinician may determine a test needs to be performed to identify whether your cough is caused by bacteria or a virus.
The treatment of your cough will depend largely on its severity and underlying cause. If a bacterial infection is suspected, the clinician may prescribe antibiotics. If it is viral, you will receive treatments directed at managing symptoms. Whatever the reasons for your cough, Sugar Land Physicians will put you on the path to better health.