Chronic Cough: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Cough is a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs typically in order to clear the lung airways of fluids, mucus, or material. Cough is also called tussis. Cough can be categorized as acute (less than three weeks) or chronic (greater than three weeks).

Chronic cough has many possible causes, including infectious and noninfectious conditions and diseases.

Symptoms and signs of chronic cough

A chronic cough may be accompanied by other cold symptoms, including:

See a doctor immediately if you have a chronic cough and experience the following serious symptoms:

  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood or yellow or green phlegm
  • Coughing so hard it makes you vomit
  • You have a cough with unexplained weight loss

Related Symptoms & Signs

Other causes of cough

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.