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Having cough since three weeks. Feeling breathlessness. Is this a sign of an illness?

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Hi, my mother has been having a cough for nearly 3 weeks now but it has been 2 weeks now that she has been having rightness in her chest and breathlessness
Posted Tue, 20 Aug 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 1 hour later
Dear patient,

The major concern when a cough is prolonged for that long is for a bacterial infection such as pneumonia, which needs to be ruled out. On top of the symptoms, a provider should conduct an accurate lung examination and perhaps order some basic tests such as a white count and a chest x XXXXXXX to look into it further; antibiotics could be warranted based on clinical suspicion. A common cause of chronic cough in adults is the "walking pneumonia", in which Mycoplasma or other low grade bacteria cause a pneumonia that can persist for several weeks with a nagging cough.

Hope this is useful, best regards,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having cough since three weeks. Feeling breathlessness. Is this a sign of an illness? 2 hours later
Thank you very much..
If it is a form of pneumonia, can it be treated efficiently and can she make a full recovery?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 13 hours later
Dear Yusra,

Thanks for the follow up question. Indeed, if it is a community acquired pneumonia, treatment with effective antibiotics such as azithromycin or levofloxacin are available and effective, usually to complete a course for 5 to 7 days. Recovery is gradual but by the end of the first 3 days of treatment the patient can notice a big difference.

Truly yours,

Dr Brenes-Salazar
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having cough since three weeks. Feeling breathlessness. Is this a sign of an illness? 15 hours later
Hello again,

My mum visited a private clinic and they said she does not have pneumonia nor bronchitis, they said her chest is very clear, so i was wondering why does she feel the way she does? The cough has decreased but the shortness of breathe and tightness of the chest has worsened? I'm really worried.

Thank you for helping me.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 6 hours later
It will be important to rule out other causes of shortness of breath and chest tightness, including heart disease. A stress test with exercise would be very helpful in this situation; heart failure can certainly present with chronic cough. One could think about starting off with a resting ultrasound of the heart called echocardiogram

thanks

Dr Brenes Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having cough since three weeks. Feeling breathlessness. Is this a sign of an illness? 29 hours later
Right, so you think there may be something wrong with her heart? She does have a history of anxiety and series panic attacks?
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