When to see a doctor

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Call your doctor if your cough doesn't go away after several weeks or if you or your child is:

  • Coughing up thick, greenish-yellow phlegm
  • Wheezing
  • Experiencing a fever more than 100 F (38 C)
  • Experiencing shortness of breath

Seek emergency care
Seek emergency care if you or your child is:

  • Choking
  • Having difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Coughing up bloody or pink-tinged phlegm

Self-care measures
To ease your cough, try these tips:

  • Suck cough drops or hard candies. They may ease a dry cough and soothe an irritated throat. Don't give them to a child under age 3, however, because they can cause choking.
  • Moisturize the air. Use a vaporizer or take a hot, steamy shower.
  • Drink fluids. Liquid helps thin the mucus in your throat. Warm liquids, such as broth, tea or lemon juice and honey in warm water, can soothe your throat.
May. 24, 2013