Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies or come down with the occasional cold, you may not think much about a dry cough. After all, coughs are alarmingly common. For that reason, it is possible to find a variety of over-the-counter and at-home remedies to alleviate your symptoms.
Dry coughs are often more of an annoyance than anything else. Still, because a dry cough can be one of the earliest signs of serious illness, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, you do not want to ignore yours forever.
The length of your symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should see a doctor for any dry cough that persists for longer than a few weeks. Remember, though, this recommendation applies only to dry coughs. If your cough comes with one or more of the following, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately:
- Phlegm or mucus
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Weight loss
- Ankle swelling
Your risk of serious illness
When evaluating whether you need professional medical care, it is important to consider both your overall health and your past exposure to toxic substances. If you have ever worked with or near asbestos, you do not want to delay treatment. Indeed, if you have asbestosis or mesothelioma, early diagnosis and treatment can improve your chances of making a full recovery.
While there may be no harm in giving your dry cough a few days to go away, you do not want to put your future health in jeopardy. Ultimately, rather than worrying, it is advisable to go to your doctor for a full examination.