Wednesday Trivia: The Length of the Average Cough

January 23, 2013 | By | Comments (2)

Chronic Cough

If you’re like most Americans, you head to the doctor for antibiotics when a hacking cough persists more than a week. But a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that we should be much more patient when it comes to coughing. The average acute cough (caused by a common cold, or other respiratory illness—like bronchitis) actually last for a whopping 18 days—and there’s no prescription medication that can shorten that time frame.

So if you’ve been coughing for seven or eight days, don’t fret. Keep drinking tea, and resting your voice. In just about a week-and-a-half you should be feeling better. If your cough lasts for four weeks—that’s right, four weeks–see your doctor.

Check out advice on 11 other common symptoms.


  1. kibby

    I had a hacking cough and took a remedy on the net: l/4 tea cayenne pepper, l/4 tea ginger, l T honey, lT apple cidar vinegar, 2 T water. Mix in a little cup. Every time you cough take a teaspoonful.. It REALLY did help.

    January 30, 2013 at 12:29 am
  2. Bobbi McConaughey Gonzales

    We Americans should take a page from Europeans–they do not ingest antibiotics for every cough or bacterial infection; they let the illness take its course. And they do not consider childhood vaccinations as status quo. Their food also contains less preservatives. Our FDA is wonderful but we still allow vegetables from Columbia and Mexico into our country and we can’t control their growing conditions. We need to get back to our roots, literally and figuratively. Our grandparents, from whatever old country they came from, can teach us so much about how to live. And we need to listen.

    May 8, 2013 at 5:13 am

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