What Causes Dry Cough?
Dry cough can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'critical'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
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- understand what's happening to your body
- see your health summarized and in detail
- identify any nutritional deficiencies
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose dry cough, we could:
- Research the topic
- Find a doctor with the time
- Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.
Step 1: List all Possible Causes
We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "dry cough" as a symptom. Here are three possibilities:
- Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)
Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist
We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
sudden shortness of breath
unexplained high fevers
having a moderate fever
significant left hypochondriac pain
frequent painful cervical nodes
diffuse bone pain
frequent painful inguinal nodes
loss of appetite
swollen axillary nodes
very tender muscles
... and more than 30 others
Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause
A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of dry cough:
|Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process
Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis
is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.
In the Respiratory Symptoms
section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™
will ask the following question about nonproductive cough:
Do you have a cough that does not produce mucus (a 'dry cough')?
→ Don't know
→ Yes, for less than a month
→ Yes, for over a month but less than a year
→ Yes, for more than a year
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate absence of dry cough, recent dry cough or chronic dry cough, The Analyst™
will consider possibilities such as:
Viral pneumonia often produces a dry cough at the beginning. The cough usually becomes worse and produces a small amount of mucus. Mycoplasma pneumonia is associated with a cough that tends to come in violent attacks, but produces only sparse whitish mucus.
Concerned or curious about your health? Try The Analyst™