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Doctor insights on: How Do You Tell If A Cough Is Due To Lung Congestion Or Just Sinus Drainage

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How do you tell if a cough is due to lung congestion or just sinus drainage?

How do you tell if a cough is due to lung congestion or just sinus drainage?

Physician Eval...: Often, your doctor can tell the difference by examining you, including listening to your lungs with a stethoscope while you breathe deeply. If your lungs are congested, there will be abnormal sounds over your lung fields. With sinus congestion, your lungs will sound normal (unless bronchospasm related to your sinuses is present. If so, wheezing will be heard!). ...Read more

Dr. Abraham Jaskiel
3 Doctors shared insights

Sinus (Definition)

In anatomy, a sinus is a cavity within a bone or other tissue. Most commonly found in the bones of the face and connecting with the nasal cavities. Sinus (anatomy), description of the general term paranasal sinuses, air cavities in the cranial bones, especially those near the nose, including: the maxillary sinuses, also called the maxillary antra and the largest of the ...Read more


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What is it? I have nasal congestion (stuffiness), nasal drainage, insomnia, difficulty sleeping (quality: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep), sinus pain, body aches and cough (worsened by: lying down, at night) (quality: with phlegm or

What is it? I have nasal congestion (stuffiness), nasal drainage, insomnia, difficulty sleeping (quality: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep), sinus pain, body aches and cough (worsened by: lying down, at night) (quality: with phlegm or

How long?: If these symptoms started less than 2 weeks ago, it is likely from the lingering viral infection ongoing in the community. I usually see this infection in patients who have been exposed to young children. If this has been going on for more than a mouth. See doctor to rule out a sinus infection, ...Read more

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What is leading to my sinus/cough/chest congestion issues?

What is leading to my sinus/cough/chest congestion issues?

Allergies: Most likely related to either seasonal or perennial allergies. Also could be caused by a deviated septum.
Xrays would be helpful. ...Read more

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5mo w/ cough/sinus congestion x3 days temp rectal 100.4 eating good when do I take to md& how will I know if it is going into her chest?

5mo w/ cough/sinus congestion x3 days temp rectal 100.4 eating good when do I take to md& how will I know if it is going into her chest?

Increasing fever: Progressing infections in infants can often be signaled by a new, or an increasing fever. Other signs can include increased fussiness, change in sleeping patterns, are decrease in appetite. ...Read more

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Sinus probs for full week w/fever, ear pain, congestion, cough. No fever now lightheaded, Cant catch a decent breath, Chest very heavy, no fever just cough?

Sinus probs for full week w/fever, ear pain, congestion, cough. No fever now lightheaded, Cant catch a decent breath, Chest very heavy, no fever just cough?

Shortness of breath: These symptoms should be investigated formally by a doc. I hate to think of it, but sometimes after a viral infection, a bacterial infection can settle in as a one-two punch. Good you don't have fever, but maybe you're suppressing it with motrin/tylenol? I think you need a chest X-ray to make sure your lungs are OK. Hope you get some help there. ...Read more

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Should I go to the ER? Mild fever 5 days chest and sinus congestion, deep cough and wheezing. Lightheaded with headache and body aches

Should I go to the ER? Mild fever 5 days chest and sinus congestion, deep cough and wheezing. Lightheaded with headache and body aches

Primary Care: Your primary care provider is likely a better choice for non life-threatening illness. ER doctors are trained to work quickly and efficiently in situations where the patient's life is at risk, so you are more likely to be exposed to tests that involve radiation or risk of false-positive results. Of course if you are struggling to breath, the ER is appropriate. ...Read more

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Sinus headache and minor chest cold. Doc said take Tylenol (acetaminophen) but what can I take for the cold? (33 weeks) runny nose and bad cough and congestion

Sinus headache and minor chest cold. Doc said take Tylenol (acetaminophen) but what can I take for the cold? (33 weeks) runny nose and bad cough and congestion

Yes: Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Robitussin are fine. Chicken soup has been proven to really help colds as does vitamin c and rest. Inhaling steam can help the congestion. Hoe you feel better soon. Best wishes for you and the baby. ...Read more

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Sinus congestion and pain, pain left ear, slight fever, post nasal drip, cough, headache, chest and back pain, lost voice, sore throat, green phlegm?

Sinus congestion and pain, pain left ear, slight fever, post nasal drip, cough, headache, chest and back pain, lost voice, sore throat, green phlegm?

Viral infection: Probably an old fashioned cold that you should treat with over the counter cold meds for 3-5 days. If no improvement, see your doctor! ...Read more

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Bad cough nasal drainage sore throat hot flashes chest feels heavy lots of congestion plus sinus pressure my son has bronchitis and pneumonia?

Bad cough nasal drainage sore throat hot flashes chest feels heavy lots of congestion plus sinus pressure my son has bronchitis and pneumonia?

Need 2 c ur doctor: Very much possible that you have the same bug as your son, better get seen, you may need prescription medicines, in the interim: rest, if you can, fluids, nasal saline wash, salt water gargles and pain killers, wish you and your son wellness ...Read more

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I am experiencing headache, runny nose, nasal drainage, sore throat, cough (worsened by: in the evening, at night) (quality: with phlegm or mucus, chronic cough), chest congestion, body aches and sneezing for 2 wks.

I am experiencing headache, runny nose, nasal drainage, sore throat, cough (worsened by: in the evening, at night) (quality: with phlegm or mucus, chronic cough), chest congestion, body aches and sneezing for 2 wks.

Sounds: Like our old" friend" INFLUENZA....Take Tylenol or a NSAID for the fever/aches...drink lots of fluids...REST and if it goes into a third week have a hands on exam by your PCP (Primary Care Provider) WHO SHOULD ALSO KNOW what viruses are active in your community.
Hope this is helpful. FEEL BETTER
Dr Z ...Read more

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sinus congestion and drainage. Bronchial like symptoms with mild coughing. ZITHOMAX low dose seems to take it away. Is this ok if other things do not work? I have been on many due to frequent inf.

sinus congestion and drainage. Bronchial like symptoms with mild coughing. ZITHOMAX low dose seems to take it away. Is this ok if other things do not work? I have been on many due to frequent inf.

Determine Cause: Important to determine cause so that sinus infection aren't recurrent. Do you have allergic or non-allergic rhinitis or a combination of both? If you have allergies have you tried starting allergy shots? Daily medicated nasal sprays are key, there are various types that you can try. Important to use daily controller therapy to prevent recurrent sinus infections in the future. Talk to your doctor. ...Read more

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Got a cold 1 wk ago. Having constant drainage causing throat congestion and coughing. No fever. Is it sinus infection?

Got a cold 1 wk ago. Having constant drainage causing throat congestion and coughing. No fever. Is it sinus infection?

Possible: If your symptoms of congestion have lasted beyond a week, it usually result in secondary bacterial infection of the sinuses. For now you can try OTC sinus congestion relief, Vicks vaporub, Claritine or Zyrtec, (cetirizine) but should plan to get examined in a couple of days if still congested. Feel better! ...Read more

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How do you tell if a cough is coming from ur lungs or throat? Can hear congestion when cough, but not bring up much, but chest burns when I cough, hel

How do you tell if a cough is coming from ur lungs or throat? Can hear congestion when cough, but not bring up much, but chest burns when I cough, hel

Location of phlegm: Hard to tell often where the cough is coming from but some generalities do exist. If it is coming from the nose and throat, you might feel post nasal drip and this would respond to Flonase and or clarispray over the counter. You can also take cough syrup, delsym over the counter. It works well. Take Tylenol or Motrin for the pain with the cough. Good luck and feel better: ...Read more

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What is causing me to be anxious? I am feeling very nervous anytime I hear more than one voice I start getting nervous but this only happens when I am very sick with upper resp. Stuff like sinus infection and chest congestion could you tell me what is wro

What is causing me to be anxious? I am feeling very nervous anytime I hear more than one voice I start getting nervous but this only happens when I am very sick with upper resp. Stuff like sinus infection and chest congestion could you tell me what is wro

You: You described feeling nervous when you are sick and hear more than one person's voice (assuming that these are external voices). The threshold for being bothered by external stimuli such as noise, light, temperature or odors may lessen when you are ill. Recommend that when you are this ill, that you nuture yourself by ensuring that you are in an environment that has tolerable temperature, light and noise levels. ...Read more

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Itchy feeling in lungs, constant non productive cough, no sinus or drainage issues. Do have asthma, but albuterol isn't helping. Asthma or other?

Itchy feeling in lungs, constant non productive cough, no sinus or drainage issues. Do have asthma, but albuterol isn't helping. Asthma or other?

See doctor: This indicates that your asthma is not well controlled and frequent use of albuterol for relief often leads to worsening in asthma. Seek medical care before it is too late. It appears that you will need a controller medication and soon. ...Read more

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Have asthma. Clear sinus drainage. Dr gave steriod shot in hip with nasonex (mometasone). Nebulizer treatment made lung function better but I still have cough?

Have asthma. Clear sinus drainage. Dr gave steriod shot in hip with nasonex (mometasone). Nebulizer treatment made lung function better but I still have cough?

PFTs: Pulmonary function testing will help to determine whether or not your lung function is in a proper range or not. Cough is a nonspecific finding that may be associated with an asthma exacerbation, but there are many other causes. ...Read more

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How can I tell the difference between chest congestion and congestion in ears, nose, and throat. 4 y/o cough sounds more congested. Concerned 4 pneumo?

How can I tell the difference between chest congestion and congestion in ears, nose, and throat. 4 y/o cough sounds more congested. Concerned 4 pneumo?

Cough = chest: Pulling on ears= ear pain
runny/ mucus in nose/ mouth breathing= nasal congestion
a baby can have any combination of these symptoms with or without a fever, and have pneumonia.If looks and acts sick, not eating/drinking normally/not alert...U must take to the doctor. ...Read more

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I have a cough and sinus drainage and chest pain and I am achey and I have a low fever the highest was 99.6. Is it serious enough to see a doctor?

I have a cough and sinus drainage and chest pain and I am achey and I have a low fever the highest was 99.6. Is it serious enough to see a doctor?

Maybe: It depends on how long this has been going on. If you have been experiencing this for a week or longer then you should at least see your family physician. ...Read more

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I have sinus drainage, a deep tickle in my chest with coughing sometimes, and a weird flutter like sensation in upper chest or throat that causes me to cough. Is this bronchitis or something else?

I have sinus drainage, a deep tickle in my chest with coughing sometimes, and a weird flutter like sensation in upper chest or throat that causes me to cough. Is this bronchitis or something else?

Viral: Most likely this is a viral upper respiratory tract infection with some irritation of the throat and windpipe (trachea). This causes a unproductive cough that can be annoying. If your symptoms are otherwise very mild with no build up of mucus in the bronchial tubes, it's ok to take a cough suppressant syrup containing dextromethorphan. Your symptoms should resolve in a few days. If they don't, see M ...Read more

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Can you have a sinus infection with out congestion and drainage of fever?

Can you have a sinus infection with out congestion and drainage of fever?

Not usually: Sinus inflammation or infection always starts in the nose and is usually referred to as rhino-sinusitis. It is not necessarily associated with fever, but is usually associated with nasal congestion. Except for cystic fibrosis, sinusitis, always begins in the lateral wall of the nose. Therefore, certainly in acute sinusitis, usually in chronic sinusitis, the nasal passages are usually congested. ...Read more

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Is there any alternatives for doing postural drainage, it causes me sinus congestion, I ve bronchiectasis, chronic nasal issues and back problems?

Is there any alternatives for doing postural drainage, it causes me sinus congestion, I ve bronchiectasis, chronic nasal issues and back problems?

No but: You can ask your doctor to give your something (antihistamine nasal spray?) to decongest your nose or try breathright strip to keep your nose open while doing the drainage. Be sure that your aiming your Nasonex (mometasone) towards the outside direction of the nasal cavity and not the center. ...Read more

Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more


Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,613 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more