When you cough, mucus (a slimy substance) may come up. Coughing helps clear the mucus in your airways from a cold, bronchitis, or other condition. Rarely, people cough up blood. If this happens, you should call your doctor right away.
A cough may be a symptom of a medical condition. Thus, it may occur with other signs and symptoms of that condition. For example, if you have a cold, you may have a runny or stuffy nose. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, you may have a sour taste in your mouth.
A chronic cough can make you feel tired because you use a lot of energy to cough. It also can prevent you from sleeping well and interfere with work and socializing. A chronic cough also can cause headaches, chest pain, loss of bladder control, sweating, and, rarely, fractured ribs.