A cough is a sudden, and often repeated reflex.  It doesn’t feel like it at the time, but it is actually a good thing.  It is the body’s way of removing foreign material, or mucus from the lungs and airway passages.  The cough itself is a symptom of something that has negatively impacted your body.  This includes illnesses, or being exposed to an element like smoke.  Your body knows it doesn’t belong and tries to remove it through the coughing process. 

Coughs fall into two categories, a productive or nonproductive cough.  The purpose of the cough is to remove something from the body that is an irritant such as mucus, or smoke.  So when a cough “brings up” something, it is effective.  These occurrences should generally not be suppressed with medicine as the body is working properly.

A persistent, or chronic cough, is a common problem associated with illness.  You should be seen if you’re having a difficult time reducing, or eliminating a chronic cough.  Especially if the cough is dry or hacking. Typically there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed and treated.   

With all illnesses that have coughing as a symptom, you should watch for upper respiratory conditions to occur.  Some common causes of chronic cough includeasthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus problems (for example sinus infection), and esophageal reflux of stomach contents.


Our Neighborhood Walk-In Clinic is:

  • Walk-in friendly
  • Open 7-days a week 8am-8pm
  • In-network for most Washington insurers
  • Open extended hours
  • Has X-Ray and Lab onsite
  • Staffed by Doctors, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners