If you’re visiting a doctor or medical professional, you probably have a lot of questions to ask or at least one major concern that is dragging you to a healthcare professional. You want to know whether or not your condition is serious, what you should do about it, and what resources are available.
One of the most common symptoms patients often have is coughing up mucus, and one of the most common ailments are respiratory problems and infections, especially for children and infants. Coughing up mucus is also known as productive cough, which is different from dry cough in almost every sense. A productive cough is one that produces phlegm or mucus. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this symptom and what patients need to know about it.
What is a productive cough?
A productive cough is a type of cough that is accompanied by phlegm or mucus. It is also known as coughing up mucus, and despite being common, it can also be dangerous if you don’t receive any treatment and remain with the problem for a long time. They can lead to other respiratory issues, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
Compared to that, an unproductive cough is one that only produces dry, hacking sounds. This type of cough can be caused by allergies, the common cold, smoking, and asthma. An unproductive cough does not bring up mucus or anything else, and it is often triggered by a sensation of itching in the back of the throat.
Sometimes a productive cough may bring up not only phlegm or mucus but also blood. It is usually triggered by infections, and it can be either one productive cough every once in a while or a lot of coughs that do not stop. The former is rarely a worrying problem, but the latter can be due to a severe infection in your respiratory tract.
What causes a productive cough?
Having a productive cough can be a symptom of bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, or any other pulmonary problem. In general, it is a sign of infection or inflammation in your respiratory tract.
The most common causes include the following:
Allergies usually trigger a dry cough that is frequent and sometimes very annoying. But they can also trigger a productive cough. Coughing up mucus with allergies usually brings up a type of transparent mucus that does not smell or taste anything in particular.