guy experiencing severe cough symptoms

Cough Symptoms

While a cough is generally a symptom of a larger issue, there are symptoms that can arise as a result of a serious cough as well. In many cases, what you might think is a symptom of a cough is actually a co-occurring symptom caused by the same issue. Here’s a look at some common symptoms that occur because of and in tandem with a cough. 

General Cough Symptoms

A wet cough is one accompanied by mucus or phlegm. Generally, each cough will cough up expectorants, prompting the need to spit. While phlegm is produced by the airways, often in response to a lack of moisture, mucus is created by the sinuses. Mucus is made to filter and protect. During a cold, mucus is made as a kind of attempt to filter out the pathogens causing the respiratory infection. Similarly, allergies are characterized by mucus because your system is attempting to move away irritating pollens, molds, etc. 

Your body may also create extra mucus as a means of moisturizing dry sinuses. Your sinuses can dry out because of dry air, which often occurs in the winter when heaters are running full time. In turn, all this extra mucus can cause a post-nasal drip. 

Post-Nasal Drip Symptoms

Post nasal drip is the sensation of mucus running down the back of your nose. This can make for a lot of throat clearing; you may feel a lump in your throat when you swallow. In addition, you may develop congestion in your nose; conversely, you may get a runny nose instead. You may find that you sound hoarse, which is not an uncommon occurrence with a cough, as the vocal cords can become inflamed and irritated from some infections, like croup. You may experience difficulty breathing, or notice a wheezing sound when you breathe. You may experience most of these symptoms with a dry cough, one without any expectorant, as well. 

Whooping Cough Symptoms

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is an infection that starts out like a common cold. Itchy, watery eyes; a congested or runny nose, and fever may all accompany a cough that starts out normal. By about 2 weeks, however, your cough will become much more violent. It can be so forceful that it is difficult to breathe or makes you vomit. Whooping cough gets its name from the “whoop” noise that tends to accompany breathing in after a coughing fit. This can make your face turn blue or red from the inability to breathe easily. Additionally, while any ongoing cough can be tiring, whooping cough is known for the fatigue that accompanies it. 

Croup Cough Symptoms

Croup is a viral infection most common in children who are six months to three years old. Although it too starts out like a common cold, it causes inflammation in the larynx, trachea, and bronchi. Eventually, combined with a dry, bark-like cough, this can make breathing difficult, particularly at night. Breathing may be accompanied by high pitched noises. Other symptoms of a serious case of croup include difficulty swallowing, drooling, fatigue, bluish tint to the skin, increased respiration, and anxiety. 

Last Updated: December 01, 2016