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Doctor insights on: Lingering Cough After Cold

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I've got a lingering cough after a cold. Not coughing anything up but in chest. Fever and chills. Do I need antibiotics?

I've got a lingering cough after a cold. Not coughing anything up but in chest. Fever and chills. Do I need antibiotics?

Maybe: The fact you have fever and chills and cough suggest that you should see your MD. A chest X-ray may be needed and in most cases abx may be needed. Suggest contact your MD. Best of luck. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,596 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


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I have a lingering cough after a chest cold, getting a pain on left side near armpit when coughing, no other symptoms.

I have a lingering cough after a chest cold, getting a pain on left side near armpit when coughing, no other symptoms.

Chest pain/coughing: Be examined again. Either the infection has not resolved or your cough has strained your chest and it is chest wall pain. All the best. ...Read more

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I am getting over a cold, I have a lingering cough that has been accompanied by coughing up mucus, clear sometimes round jelly like balls. Am I ok?

I am getting over a cold, I have a lingering cough that has been accompanied by coughing up mucus, clear sometimes round jelly like balls. Am I ok?

Likely OK: It is not uncommon to have a lingering cough after an upper respiratory infection that can last up to a month. As long as the mucus is mot often clear and your not feeling feverish or with chills or significant chest pain, there's little to worry about. ...Read more

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My 5 year old caught a cold 3 weeks ago. Had fever on day 1. He's happy & energetic now, but he's had a lingering cough for 2 weeks. Problem?

My 5 year old caught a cold 3 weeks ago. Had fever on day 1. He's happy & energetic now, but he's had a lingering cough for 2 weeks. Problem?

The most common: Reason for persistent cough after a viral infection is Reactive Airway Disease (RAD). RAD = mild Asthma, in which a child has spasm of the small airways manifested by coughing, but not audible wheezing or trouble breathing. His pediatrician can diagnose this. Another possibility is " walking pneumonia" from a viral or Mycoplasma infection. Don't give cold/ cough meds under age 6. Take him in. ...Read more

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I recovered from a cold a month ago, but there's still a lingering cough, sometimes when I speak but mostly at night when I sleep. What can I do?

I recovered from a cold a month ago, but there's still a lingering cough, sometimes when I speak but mostly at night when I sleep. What can I do?

Possibilities.....: This could be related to bronchospasm which can occur after an upper respiratory infection or bronchitis. Both bronchodilator and steroid inhalers can be used to treat this, if present. Another possibility is post-nasal drip and there are effective steroid nasal sprays that can treat this. So, see your doctor to determine the precise etiology of your symptoms so treatment can be rendered. ...Read more

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My 2yo had a cold almost 3 weeks ago. After he recovered was told his lingering nightly cough was drainage. How long is too long for a cough like this?

My 2yo had a cold almost 3 weeks ago. After he recovered was told his lingering nightly cough was drainage. How long is too long for a cough like this?

A month: Colds and post nasal drip can linger for 3-4 weeks. It is also possible he has caught another mild cold after the last one and iyt looks like one long cold. I would have him rechecked. Sinusitis cod be a possibility and we often consider asthma with a night time cough...Elderberry can be helpful as can a.I.R. Tea (www. Franzcenter. Com under herbaceuticals). ...Read more

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I have had a cold lingering for the past 3 weeks with bad cough, haven't used anything but teas, cough syrup and now I have pain under my rib.?

I have had a cold lingering for the past 3 weeks with bad cough, haven't used anything but teas, cough syrup and now I have pain under my rib.?

Pneumonia: Post-viral pneumonia or even lung abscess or pleural space infection is possible, you need to see your doctor asap and get at least chest X-ray and blood work, good luck and feel better soon ...Read more

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After antibiotics for cough had sorethroat colds fever cough again. Now no more colds fever sorethroat but cough still lingering, do I need antibiotics?

After antibiotics for cough had sorethroat colds fever cough again. Now no more colds fever sorethroat but cough still lingering, do I need antibiotics?

Probably not.: Your cough might just be drainage from the back of your throat due to allergies, the cold weather, ; viruses. You may want to try any allergy medicines with expectorant if you need to thin out your mucus. Drink plenty of warm liquids, honey with tea, chicken broth, warm chocolate drinks, coffee etc. If you develop fever and your condition worsened, time to go back to your doctor for an exam. ...Read more

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For a cough that has been lingering for nearly two weeks after a cold : I take zyrtec daily, if it was allergies would nasacort (triamcinolone) help?

For a cough that has been lingering for nearly two weeks after a cold : I take zyrtec daily, if it was allergies would nasacort (triamcinolone) help?

Bronchospasm: Sometimes you can have residual bronchospasm after an upper respiratory infection for weeks after you feel better. Using cough lozenges may help, over the counter cough suppressants at night to help sleep, or talking with your doctor to see if an inhaler may be helpful until your cough improves over the course of the next couple of weeks. Doubtful Nasacort (triamcinolone) will help with the cough. ...Read more

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Really bad cold with yellow and green mucus for two weeks. Symptoms improved but Cough still lingering a month later with clear sputum. Is this normal?

Really bad cold with yellow and green mucus for two weeks. Symptoms improved but Cough still lingering a month later with clear sputum. Is this normal?

Post nasal drip: Post nasal drip is the likely cause of your cough. Over the counter Flonase 1 spray in each nostril twice daily and daily sinus rinses usually help. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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Been over a week since I had a cold (maybe bronchitis?). Still have a lingering cough that produces phlem/mucus. Is it time to go see a doctor?

Been over a week since I had a cold (maybe bronchitis?). Still have a lingering cough that produces phlem/mucus. Is it time to go see a doctor?

Depends: Any fevers or worsening symptoms? If everything is resolving, but just slowly, it may be your body just taking its time recovering from infection. Even after a bout with a viral uri, the mucociliary system that helps keep your airway clear may be stunned and not work properly for weeks. If you develop worse symptoms, then yes, go see your doctor! ...Read more

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I've had a cold but now have cough lingering. My abdomen just below ribs in center r sore worse after coughing is it all from the cough? Feel tight

I've had a cold but now have cough lingering. My abdomen just below ribs in center r sore worse after coughing is it all from the cough? Feel tight

It is possible: To strain muscles when coughing. I believe you mean that your abdominal muscles feel tight but if breathing becomes tight or difficult -then please seek medical care. Hydrate well. Consider using a warm air vaporizer. Mix several teaspoons of honey into herbal tea with a squeeze of lemon juice. Or make tea with 2 tsp of marshmallow root bark per 1cup of hot water (steep in a covered pot for a. ...Read more

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2yr old has lingering persistent dry cough and sneezing after a cold that lasted 14 days. Weather is rainy? Could it be allergies? Cold? See doctor?

2yr old has lingering persistent dry cough and sneezing after a cold that lasted 14 days. Weather is rainy? Could it be allergies? Cold? See doctor?

Viral: Sometimes a viral infection leads to coughing for several weeks but the sneezing should have improved by now. Thus allergies to indoor allergens may well be the cause since rains usually cleans out outdoor airborne allergens. Yes, you should consult your doctor. ...Read more

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Just came out of a cold & cough. After shower (at night) cold gets worse & frequent and I wake up with a sore throat, mucus. Lingering cold or gerd?

Cold: Most colds are due to viral infections o the upper respiratory tract, and last 10-14 days. It is common to have a persistent cough afterwards, along with excess mucous production. Gerd is typically associated with heartburn and regurgitation if stomach contents into the esophagus and/or throat. Gerd can get worse with stress as well, such as when you have a cold. ...Read more

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How long should a lingering cough last?

How long should a lingering cough last?

Depends on cause: Lingering cough could be sign of lung irritation from virus, or even chronic infection by bacteria (bronchitis or pneumonia). These can also lead to asthma/wheezing. Allergies, reflux of acid from stomach, smoking, heart problems and some medications can also cause. If lingering, should see doctor. If with colored phlegm, fever, pain, difficulty breathing, or blood, you should see more urgently. ...Read more

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Is it normal for lingering cough to last more than amonth? My dad has been coughing for over a month

Is it normal for lingering cough to last more than amonth? My dad has been coughing for over a month

Cough: Would need more info. Is the cough from the throat or from the chest? Is it productive of sputum and if so what does it look like and has it been cultured? Does he have fever or any other symptoms like shortness of breath, etc. Does he smoke. In the Philippines tuberculosis is always a major concern. Have him see a doctor. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Son took mucolytic and suppressant for 7 days. After meds he is still coughing, shud I continue giving the meds? For how long? Its a lingering cough.

Son took mucolytic and suppressant for 7 days. After meds he is still coughing, shud I continue giving the meds? For how long? Its a lingering cough.

Coughing: By using a cough suppressant it becomes more difficult to expectorate the phlegm being produced by the mucolytic cough medicine. Stop the suppressant, use the vaporizer, push fluids and elevate his mattress while sleeping. ...Read more

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How can I get rid of a cough that is lingering from bronchitis?

How can I get rid of a cough that is lingering from bronchitis?

Depends: It really depends on the cause and duration and you other medical issues. If it is from a cold it will go away but hydration, rest, honey, tea, and over the counter cough medicines may help. In general cough medicines are not that helpful but may be worth a try. If it persists you should see your doctor to evaluate for more sinister causes. ...Read more

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Lingering cough for about a month. He coughs when he laughs or talks. It has become worse over the month.

Lingering cough for about a month. He coughs when he laughs or talks. It has become worse over the month.

Coughing: Coughing is due to an irritation of your air passages. The causes are infection, allergies, inflammation, medications, reflux, or asthma. Please see a doctor to obtain an accurate diagnosis. ...Read more

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My son is 7 yo. He just recently finished a course of antibx for bronchitis. However, he has a lingering cough d/t drainage. What should I give?

My son is 7 yo. He just recently finished a course of antibx for bronchitis. However, he has a lingering cough d/t drainage. What should I give?

Depends: The cough of bronchitis can persist for a month, long after completing a standard abx course. This is how the lung removes residual mucous & debris from the process. If the kid has resumed his normal level of play activity, diet and rest, you can ignore the cough.Robitussin like products can loosen the secretions, but are optional. If he continues to act sick he should be re-evaluated. ...Read more

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My 4 year old has a lingering cough, lungs are clear, but he's been coughing a lot today. Will using the nebulizer help?

My 4 year old has a lingering cough, lungs are clear, but he's been coughing a lot today. Will using the nebulizer help?

Cough: Not always come from the lungs, could be his throat, sinuses ears or his nose, although cough could be the first sign of airway irritation and narrowing, you can still use the nebulizer with a bronchodialtor medicine if you have, if that doesn't help, see his doctor, whom you will need to see anyways for proper management after control of your son's cough, wish you both wellness ...Read more

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For a few months my chest Weezes when exhaling completely. I have a lingering barking cough too. When running I feel out of breathe although im fit?

For a few months my chest Weezes when exhaling completely. I have a lingering barking cough too. When running I feel out of breathe although im fit?

Further tests: Have it checked by you doctor. Not all wheezes are asthma, there are many causes. Xrays might be needed. If Asthma is suspected, Lung function test can be done. ...Read more

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Aftr my 8yo kid had flu last march, she stil has lingering cough that comes every now and then esp when her nose is wet. Pls advise y her cough won't go?

Flu woes: Coughs can linger for a long time, but in this case I think it is probably coincidental and unrelated. It is possible that she she is suffering from allergic rhinitis or hay fever, when her nose is full of mucous, some drips down and causes her to cough. ...Read more

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Had the flu in December which turned to bronchitis. Treated for bronchitis but still have lingering cough. How can I get rid of the cough?

Had the flu in December which turned to bronchitis. Treated for bronchitis but still have lingering cough. How can I get rid of the cough?

Time and Rx?: When was the last time you had a follow up appointment with your doctor? Have they given you cough suppressants like benzonatate (Tessalon) that you can take with OTC guaifenesin which works well for a lot of people and is non-sedating. If it's so bad you can't work or function well or sleep there's the possibility of codeine at night but that's a discussion for your doc. Time is the ultimate factor ...Read more

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I finished antibiotics for an infection but still have a lingering cough can I still be contagious? I have a one month old baby. Cough is dry tickle

I finished antibiotics for an infection but still have a lingering cough can I still be contagious? I have a one month old baby. Cough is dry tickle

Difficult to say: Difficult to answer absolutely since you don't say what the infection was or what the antibiotic was. But, with that qualification, a dry lingering cough that is more of a tickle is not so likely to be due to a lingering infection, but more likely some lingering irritation. The good news is that a 1 month old baby still has a high level of maternal antibodies in its system, so may be less succept. ...Read more

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23 years old, physically fit. Got sick 3 weeks back, but still have a lingering cough/phlegm. Coughing a lil from the diaphragm. What to do? See doc?

23 years old, physically fit. Got sick 3 weeks back, but still have a lingering cough/phlegm. Coughing a lil from the diaphragm. What to do? See doc?

Yes, see doctor: You probably developed an upper respiratory tract infection which has been complicated by a bacterial sinus infection. See your doctor and have a course of antibiotics prescribed and you should do well. ...Read more

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6 weeks pregnant with a lingering productive cough how do I get rid of this? It has been 2 weeks.

6 weeks pregnant with a lingering productive cough how do I get rid of this? It has been 2 weeks.

Viral syndrome: It sounds like you may have picked up a viral syndrome. The best thing to do is to remain hydrated, use Ibuprofen at the appropriate dose and get plenty of rest. ...Read more

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35 weeks pregnant, horrible lingering cough from bronchitis. Nothing seems to help, doc out of town, any advice on what to take? Been 4 weeks.

35 weeks pregnant, horrible lingering cough from bronchitis. Nothing seems to help, doc out of town, any advice on what to take? Been 4 weeks.

Z pack: If it were me I would seek out another clinic or physician who can prescribe a z pack or similar medication for the bronchitis. Pregnancy lowers your immune system, and if you've been suffering for 4 weeks, it's time to add an antibioitic. Maybe even a little steroid. I'll let your primary care doctor be the judge of your prescription, but defnitely be seen and get a prescription. ...Read more

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Have lingering cough (mucous in lungs) for 3 weeks. I feel perfect otherwise --good energy levels. Nose is clear. So how is mucous entering lungs?

Have lingering cough (mucous in lungs) for 3 weeks. I feel perfect otherwise --good energy levels. Nose is clear. So how is mucous entering lungs?

Do you mean phlegm?: Mucus producing tissues line the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, GI and GU tract. Mucus acts as a sort of protective blanket preventing tissues from drying out. Mucus also contains antibodies to fight bacteria, viruses. The color of the viscous substance changes ranging from clear to yellow green to black depending on enzyme from wbcs, pollens, pollution.
Mucus was already in lungs. ...Read more