Allergies? A cold? Acid reflux?
While it’s impossible to always pinpoint a cough by how it sounds, there are some key differences to give you clues as to what’s going on. Here’s how to tell what that cough really means:
■ Postnasal drip sounds like: Either a dry or wet cough. It’s caused by mucus dripping down your throat (due to either allergies or a cold), which tickles nerve endings, triggering coughing.
■ Pneumonia sounds like: Initially, a dry cough which after a few days turns to a wet cough with yellow, green, and/or red or rust-tinged mucus.
■ Asthma sounds like: A dry cough that ends with a rattle or wheeze. People with asthma have inflamed airways, which can cause difficulty breathing as well as wheezing and coughing.
■ COPD sounds like: A chronic, hacking cough that produces a lot of mucus, particularly in the morning. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema; the main cause is smoking. Don’t delay treatment, come in today!