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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cough?

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.

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Last Updated: October 1, 2010