Coughing is a reflex that clears your throat and your airways (respiratory system). Coughing helps to heal and protect your lungs. It is normal to cough occasionally, but a cough that happens with other symptoms or lasts a long time may be a sign of a condition that needs treatment. An acute cough may only last 2–3 weeks, while a chronic cough may last 8 or more weeks.
These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.). Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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