Foul-smelling cough quiz
Take a quiz to find out what's causing your foul-smelling cough.
Experiencing a bad taste in your mouth after coughing could simply be bad breath. However, it could also point to an underlying condition. Causes for bad taste from coughing range in severity. Read more below to learn 3 possible causes of bad tasting cough.
3 causes of a foul-smelling cough
The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced foul-smelling cough. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.
An abscess is a collection of pus which results from an infection. A lung abscess may form following an infection such as pneumonia.
You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis with an X-Ray. Treatment for a lung abscess involves prescription antibiotics.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive inflammation of the lungs that makes breathing difficult. It is caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases and/or dust particles, most often cigarette smoke.
Symptoms may take years to develop. They include a chronic cough with mucus (sputum), wheezing, chest tightness, fatigue, constant colds, swollen ankles, and cyanosis (blue tinge to the lips and/or fingernails.) Depression is often a factor due to reduced quality of life.
Treatment is important because there is a greater risk of heart disease and lung cancer in COPD patients. Though the condition cannot be cured, it can be managed to reduce risks and allow good quality of life.
COPD is commonly misdiagnosed and so careful testing is done. Diagnosis is made through patient history; physical examination; lung function tests; blood tests; and chest x-ray or CT scan.
Treatment involves quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to other lung irritants; use of inhalers to ease symptoms; steroids; lung therapies; and getting influenza and pneumonia vaccines as recommended.
Bronchiectasis is destruction and widening of the large airways. Mucus builds up in these airways and can get infected, causing a pneumonia.
You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours if you might have an infection. Diagnosis involves a chest X-ray, sampling phlegm, blood tests, and other possible tests. Treatment is mostly coaching, actually, on exercises that strengthen your ability to cough up phlegm.
Top Symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, runny nose, mucous dripping in the back of the throat
Urgency: Primary care docto
Bacterial pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by one of several different bacteria, often Streptococcus pneumoniae. Pneumonia is often contracted in hospitals or nursing homes.
Symptoms include fatigue, fever, chills, painful and difficult breathing, and cough that brings up mucus. Elderly patients may have low body temperature and confusion.
Pneumonia can be a medical emergency for very young children or those over age 65, as well as anyone with a weakened immune system or a chronic heart or lung condition.
Complications may include organ failure and respiratory failure. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.
Diagnosis is made through blood tests and chest x-ray.
With bacterial pneumonia, the treatment is antibiotics. Be sure to finish all the medication, even if you start to feel better. Hospitalization may be necessary for higher-risk cases.
Some types of bacterial pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination. Flu shots help, too, by preventing another illness from taking hold. Keep the immune system healthy through good diet and sleep habits, not smoking, and frequent handwashing.
Top Symptoms: fatigue, cough, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath
Symptoms that always occur with bacterial pneumonia: cough
Urgency: In-person visit
Questions your doctor may ask about foul-smelling cough
To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:
- Any fever today or during the last week?
- Have you experienced any nausea?
- Do you currently smoke?
- Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
Foul-smelling cough symptom checker statistics
People who have experienced foulsmelling cough have also experienced:
- 13% Cough
- 4% Chronically Bad Breath
- 3% Vaginal Discharge
People who have experienced foulsmelling cough were most often matched with:
- 35% Bacterial Pneumonia
- 35% Lung Abscess
- 28% Bronchiectasis
People who have experienced foulsmelling cough had symptoms persist for:
- 43% Less than a week
- 15% One to two weeks
- 15% Two weeks to a month
Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.
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