BronsonConnect Immediate Care Services - Cough
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Cough

Why Do We Cough?

A cough, or tussis, is a voluntary or involuntary reaction to something that irritates your throat or airways. Coughs are a common occurrence and are often healthy when they occur occasionally. A coughs that persists or joins other symptoms such as mucus or phlegm, wheezing or shortness of breath may require medical attention. Symptoms and severity of coughs vary based on the underlying cause of your cough.

Help for Cough at Bronson

If you have a cough that you are concerned about or that is causing discomfort, you can rely upon your local care team at Bronson to provide the relief you need.

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Causes for Cough

A cough is often a symptom that is present with many sicknesses and conditions. A persistent cough may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition that requires medical attention.

Common Causes:

  • Irritation
  • Common cold
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Whooping cough
  • Acid reflux
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Postnasal drip
  • Gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD)
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Smoking

Other Causes:

  • Laryngitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Croup
  • Sinusitis
  • Choking
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) – for more information, click here

Types of Cough

Coughs can affect people of all ages. Differences in cough, such as characteristics, duration, severity and accompanying symptoms can help you or your provider determine the cause and best course of treatment.

  • Wet cough – accompanied by mucus or phlegm that sounds low or heavy
  • Dry cough – hacking that is not accompanied by mucus or phlegm
  • Whooping cough – violent, causing lungs to you to gasp at the loss of oxygen
  • Bloody cough – mucus or phlegm that presents blood
  • Burning cough – burns the throat or chest

Symptoms of Cough

Cough symptoms vary depending on the underlying cause. Accompanying signs and symptoms that may be present with cough include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Throat clearing
  • Heartburn
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Mucus and phlegm

Cough Treatment

Based on the cause of your specific cough, several treatments can help you treat your symptoms.

Types of treatment

  • Over-the-counter cough or cold medication
  • Cough drops
  • Drink more fluids
  • Drink tea
  • Use a humidifier
  • Avoid irritants (smoke, dust, chemicals, etc.)

When to Seek Medical Care

If you (or your child) have tried self-treatment, or are experiencing worsening or persisting symptoms, call your doctor.

Contact your doctor if you or your child:

  • Have symptoms that persist longer than a few weeks
  • Are short of breath
  • Faint
  • Have a fever
  • Are wheezing
  • Experience phlegm that is thick or greenish-yellow

Seek immediate care if you or your child:

  • Have chest pain
  • Are choking or vomiting
  • Experience difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Cough up blood or bloody phlegm

What should you do if you have Flu or COVID-19 symptoms?

Because flu and COVID-19 symptoms are so similar, it is important you self-isolate for at least 14 days, outside from seeking medical care. If you live with others, even pets, you should try to find an area of the home, away from others, where you can quarantine. Learn more about the steps you can take if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Need Care Now?

On Demand Video Visit

See a doctor online using your smartphone, tablet or computer from the comfort of your home for minor illnesses (patients 18 months or older).

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Contact your Primary Care Provider

Current patients can schedule in-person or video visit appointments by calling the office.

Scheduled Video Visit

Find a doctor and schedule online or by calling (269) 341-7788.

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FastCare®

Walk-in care for minor illnesses for patients (18 months or older) in Kalamazoo.

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Urgent Care

Walk-in care for non-life threatening illnesses or injuries in Battle Creek.

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Emergency Care

Walk-in care for serious or life-threatening injuries or illnesses. If you are unable to walk-in, dial 911 for emergency assistance.

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Find the Right Care Based on Your Need

Still not sure which is the best care option for you? Visit our Need Care Now page to compare options.

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Know When to Dial 911

If you are have persisting or worsening symptoms, or are experiencing a life-threatening condition such as chest pain, trouble breathing or stroke symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.