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Coughing/ Pain

I have had a cough for 3-4 months and i have been coughing up flegm. For about a couple of weeks, i have been having pain in my ribs (right side) so i need to know if I need to get this checked out or it could be something serious and should go to the ER. Thanks.
3 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
Yes, chronic cough with chest pain needs to be examined. A cough is generally a result of an irritant such as stomach acid (gastric reflux), mucus (asthma), hair spray, perfume, dust, pollen, mold, even spicy food, post nasal drip, or infection. It could also be due to infection such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Chronic sore throats can be allergic, viral or bacterial in origin. Many viral conditions like EBV (glandular fever) behave in this way with recurrent respiratory infections. Many parasitic infestations and worms increase the eosinophil counts in the blood and thus cause an increased risk of upper respiratory infections.
Is there is no fever then chances of allergic reaction, acidity and reflux and high eosinophil count are more. Common allergens causing these symptoms are pollen, mold, dust, pet dander. Streptoccocal infection is the most common bacterial infection and can cause nasal symptoms too. Indoor exposure to black mold can cause upper respiratory tract symptoms such as sore throat and cough with or without wheeze in otherwise healthy people.
Ideally you should consult a chest specialist. A comprehensive investigation including CBC, throat swab, allergic tests, X-rays, examination with a scope in throat, spirometry etc is required keeping all the points in mind. A throat swab and the phlegm should be given for culture and sensitivity to see what organism is causing the cough and what antibiotic may act against it. If it is viral or allergic then no culture will be formed. If it is due to air conditioning, you will have to use a humidifier. If it is due to asthma, then proper treatment will have to be done. If mold is the culprit, then you will have to get your house checked for the source and treated. Gastric reflux too could be the cause. The treating reflux with drugs and lifestyle changes with decreasing coffee, alcohol, smoking and spicy food will help.
Meanwhile try deep breathing exercise and steam inhalation. Over the counter antihistamines, and decongestants and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs may all help. However please take with prescription. Steam inhalation, drinking hot fluids and soups, warm lemonade, gargling with warm saline water are all very helpful. Do discuss with your doctor and first try and find the cause. Take care!
1461073 tn?1308681148
Hello yes you need to be checked it is possible to break your ribs if coughing is forceful enough.  When coughing you can place a pillow up against the abdomen and chest area to help lessen the force the cough places on those areas.  You most likely need some antibiotics and possibly a chest x-ray, and  breathing treatments to help break the phlegm up so you can get all the infection and mucus out of you body once and for all.    While treating at home until you can get into to see your doctor Mucinex (or the generic version of) works really good in helping break up the mucus as well.  I Hope this Helps.  
144586 tn?1284669764
As crackerjack suggested, purchase an off-the shelf expectorant. This will help a lot.

Albuterol sulfate, prescribed for asthmatics (a bit expensive) will also help you in breathing.

Doctornee has covered everything quite thoroughly.

You really need to get a general work-up.
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