How to Know When Your Cough Warrants a Trip to Urgent Care

Urgent medical conditions aren’t typically life-threatening, but still require medical attention within 24 hours. For example, you may have a cut that doesn’t bleed much but still needs stitches or a broken bone in your fingers or toes.

In some cases, even a persistent cough can become dangerous if you wait too long before seeing a medical professional. Our specialist, Dr. Rakesh Chugh, provides urgent care services and wants you to be aware of the signs that your cough may require a trip to urgent care.

Signs you need urgent medical care

Most coughs are caused by upper respiratory system infections. If you have an upper respiratory infection, your body requires rest and warm liquids to fight the infection.

Home remedies such as honey, cough drops, and hard candy can help you combat throat irritation, and humidifiers and hot showers can help you breathe easier. If you respond well to home remedies and your cough doesn’t last more than a couple of weeks, you may not need antibiotics or other drugs to treat it.

However, coughs that don’t go away on their own and come with symptoms such as wheezing, fever, fainting, weight loss, ankle swelling, inability to swallow, difficulty breathing, and chest pain require urgent medical attention. 

Conditions that increase the risk of complications

Any condition that lowers your immune system’s ability to fight viruses and bacteria may increase your risk for serious complications. These include:

Diabetes  Heart disease Recent transplants  HIV

Allergies and asthma can also exacerbate your cough and related symptoms. Persistent coughs should also be monitored in otherwise healthy newborns, infants, and the elderly, as these individuals have a weaker immune system. 

Medications and therapies that lower your ability to fight disease 

In some cases, receiving certain therapies may cause your body to become more susceptible to complications. Medications that weaken your immune system include:

Chemotherapy drugs  mTOR inhibitors Corticosteroids TNF inhibitors

This list is not complete, so if you take any medications, you should speak to a medical professional about whether your current treatment is affecting your ability to fight infections.

Get peace of mind with a visit to urgent care 

Urgent care is recommended if you suffer from a persistent cough and don’t want to wait hours in line at the hospital. 

Dr. Chugh can help you get peace of mind and prompt treatment for your cough. For more information, contact us by phone or through online booking to schedule an appointment at our office in Tinley Park, Illinois, today.

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