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Coughs - Check Your Symptoms

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If you have a history of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or another chronic breathing problem, compare your symptoms with what is normal for you.

  • Your need for a doctor visit depends on what is normal for you and what you have discussed with your doctor.
  • If your doctor has given you a plan for managing your respiratory problem, seek medical care according to your plan.

If you have the following symptom, evaluate that symptom first:

  • A fever: Go to the topic:
    • Fever, Age 4 and Older.
    • Fever, Age 3 and Younger.

Does your child have a cough?

Are you wheezing?

Do you have mild difficulty breathing?

Do you have pain in the muscles or ribs of the chest (chest wall pain)?

Are you coughing up bloody sputum that is bright red or rust-colored mucus (hemoptysis)?

Do you have a productive cough?

Do you have a dry (nonproductive) cough?

Other Symptoms to Watch For

If you have the following symptom, evaluate that symptom first:


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 09, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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