Cough

& Congestion Treatment

Cough and congestion are common respiratory issues most often characterized by regular irritation in the throat, regular expelling of fluid from the nose or mouth, and obstruction of one or both nostrils. Often stemming from viral or bacterial infections, irritants such as smoke and allergens can also trigger these symptoms.

While viral infections tend to resolve on their own, bacterial infections may necessitate antibiotics. Over-the-counter cough syrups, decongestants, steam inhalation, and prescribed medications from CallonDoc can offer relief.

Given the multitude of causes, cough and congestion symptoms can manifest in isolation or indicate an underlying issue. Common signs accompanying these symptoms include:

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Persistent Cough: A continuous cough is a prevalent symptom, often causing discomfort.

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Nasal Congestion: Difficulty breathing through the nose due to blockage.

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Throat Irritation: A scratchy or sore throat can accompany cough and congestion.

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Difficulty Breathing: Labored breathing or shortness of breath.

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Chest Discomfort: Sensation of pressure or pain in the chest.

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Excessive Mucus Production: Thick mucus contributes to congestion.

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Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches alongside cough and congestion.

Various factors contribute to cough and congestion, including viral and bacterial infections, irritants, and environmental conditions. Alongside dry air and exposure to dust or chemicals, common causes include:

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Acute Bronchitis: Causes congestion and coughing by inflaming the bronchial tubes, leading to excessive mucus production and irritation, which prompts the body to cough as a natural mechanism to clear the airways.

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Influenza: Infection of the respiratory tract leading to cough and congestion.

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Allergies: Immune response to airborne allergens causing respiratory symptoms.

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Sinus Infections: Inflammation and congestion leading to postnasal drip and throat discomfort.

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Covid-19: Causes congestion and coughing by infecting the respiratory system, particularly the airways and lungs, leading to inflammation, increased mucus production, and a cough response as the body attempts to expel the virus and restore normal breathing.

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Smoking: Exposure to toxins causing inflammation and discomfort in the respiratory tract.

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Environmental Irritants: Dust, pollution, or workplace chemicals triggering respiratory symptoms.

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Upper Respiratory Infections: Cause congestion and coughing by triggering inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages, throat, and airways, leading to increased mucus production and a reflexive response to clear the air passages.

Diagnosing the cause of cough and congestion involves a comprehensive examination, considering the patient's medical history and potentially conducting tests. While visual confirmation and a physical examination are standard, further testing may be required for specific infections.

Treatment for cough and congestion depends on the underlying cause. For viral infections, symptom relief is the primary focus, with over-the-counter medications and self-care measures. Antibiotics may be prescribed for bacterial infections. Adequate rest, hydration, and respiratory support, such as humidifiers, aid recovery.

Continued management involves a blend of self-care and medical interventions. For viral infections, maintaining rest, hydration, and symptom relief measures is crucial. Completing prescribed antibiotics is essential for bacterial infections. Chronic conditions may require ongoing identification and avoidance of triggers, along with medication and lifestyle changes.

Coughing and congestion are symptoms associated with such a diversity of causes that it can be exceedingly difficult to avoid them entirely on every occasion. However, here are some tips you can follow to lessen your chances of getting the symptoms: 

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Wear masks when people are sick

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Avoid touching your face

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Maintain a clean local environment

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Stay hydrated 

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Use a humidifier when possible

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Limit exposure to smoke, strong odors, and other environmental irritants

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Regularly get vaccinated 

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Antibiotics (Zpak, Cefuroxime, Augmentin, Levofloxacin)

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Albuterol 

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Oral and Inhaled steroid (Prednisone, Symbicort, Qvar)

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Cough suppressant (Tessalon, Histex, Bromfed)

Cough & Congestion Overview

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Step 1
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Answer questions about your health

Enter patient information and medical history as well as answer questions relating to your symptoms. This should only take about five or ten minutes.

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Step 2
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Our providers will review your visit

Our board-certified medical providers will create a custom treatment plan based on your condition and medical history. You can follow your treatment status with our consultation tracker any time after your visit has been submitted, this is located in your patient dashboard.

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Step 3
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Get Rx delivered to your pharmacy or doorstep

Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy of choice within 1-2 hours.  After you receive your treatment plan, connect with your pharmacy to see when they will have your Rx fulfilled. For some medications we offer home delivery options for your convenience.

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FAQ

Coughing alone is unlikely to cause a hernia. However, chronic or severe coughing can potentially contribute to the development or exacerbation of a hernia, particularly in individuals with weakened abdominal muscles or pre-existing vulnerabilities.

Yes, persistent or forceful coughing can cause chest pain by straining the muscles in the chest and ribcage. Additionally, underlying respiratory conditions or infections that lead to coughing may also contribute to chest discomfort.

Yes, frequent or vigorous coughing can contribute to a sore throat by irritating and inflaming the throat tissues. Additionally, underlying respiratory infections or conditions that trigger coughing may also cause or worsen a sore throat.

Yes, coughing can be a symptom of allergies, particularly if the immune system reacts to airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, or pet dander. Allergic reactions can lead to irritation in the respiratory tract, triggering coughing as the body attempts to expel the allergens.

While extremely rare, forceful and prolonged coughing could potentially contribute to the development of a spontaneous pneumothorax, which is a type of collapsed lung. However, it's important to note that various underlying factors, such as lung diseases or trauma, are more common causes of a collapsed lung.

Yes, congestion can lead to dizziness as it may restrict proper airflow, impacting oxygen exchange and potentially causing a decrease in blood oxygen levels, which can contribute to feelings of lightheadedness. Additionally, sinus congestion can affect the inner ear, disrupting balance and contributing to dizziness in some cases.

Yes, congestion can cause chest pain by putting pressure on the respiratory system, leading to difficulty breathing and discomfort in the chest. Additionally, inflammation of the airways and increased mucus production associated with congestion can contribute to chest tightness and pain.

Yes, congestion can cause ear pain as the blockage and inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses can lead to increased pressure in the ears, affecting the Eustachian tubes. This pressure imbalance can result in ear pain or discomfort.

Yes, congestion can cause headaches as it often accompanies sinus inflammation and increased pressure, leading to tension headaches or migraines. Additionally, the restricted airflow and reduced oxygen supply associated with congestion can contribute to vascular changes in the head, triggering headaches in some individuals. 

Congestion can contribute to ear infections when the Eustachian tubes, responsible for regulating pressure in the ears, become blocked due to nasal congestion. This blockage creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth, increasing the risk of ear infections.

frequently asked questions