Do not underestimate bloody cough or hemoptysis. This condition can be a symptom of a serious life-threatening disease.
Blood that comes out when coughing is generally mixed with phlegm. A bloody cough in young people may not be a symptom of serious illness and can be treated immediately. However, this condition can be a dangerous indicator especially for those who are old and smokers.
Causes of Bloody Cough from Mild to Severe
The presence of blood in sputum when coughing can generally be caused by severe coughing for a long time. But there are many other conditions that can cause bloody coughs, namely:
- Bronchitis: respiratory disorders in the long run that cause phlegm buildup. Bronchitis can be triggered by many causes, such as lung infections that have been experienced and inhaling the pollution.
- Tuberculosis (TB): a lung infection that is classified as severe with common symptoms such as fever, sweat, cough with phlegm that is colored or contains pus, and a feeling of tightness in the chest. The bloody cough will subside as soon as the infection is cured.
- Pulmonary embolism: blood clots in blood vessels in the lungs that can cause shortness of breath and sudden chest pain.
- Pulmonary edema: a buildup of fluid around the lungs with symptoms in the form of phlegm that is released when the cough is pink and foamy. This condition generally occurs in people who have heart disease first.
- Lung cancer: this situation is more common in smokers over the age of 40.
- Cancer of the throat.
- Cystic fibrosis: a genetic condition that causes disorders of the lungs and digestive system.
- Side effects of drugs, such as cocaine and blood-thinning drugs.
- Emphysema: interference with the air sacs in the lungs.
- Abscess or festering wound in the lung.
- Pneumonia or wet lungs.
- Parasitic infection.
- Objects that are inhaled or enter the nose can also cause injury to the respiratory tract and cause coughing up blood. These objects can be toys, nuts, beads, or anything that can enter the nose.
Inflammation and an abnormal buildup of tissue can affect the respiratory tract and cause coughing up blood. Conditions that can cause this situation include Goodpasture’s syndrome, Wegener’s granulomatosis, lupus pneumonitis.
In very rare cases, a bloody cough can be a symptom:
- A heart valve disorder called mitral stenosis.
- Indications for serious vascular disease called nodarter polyarteritis.
However, there are times when a bloody cough cannot be categorized as hemoptysis if it is caused by the following conditions:
- Pseudohemotisis: bleeding in the mouth, nose or throat can cause blood to flow along with saliva. This case is different from the blood coming out of your lungs. Blood from the lungs is often mixed with phlegm
- Hematemesis: direction can also come out of the digestive tract in the form of vomiting. This can be a symptom of other diseases, such as inflammation of the stomach wall.
Bloody cough sufferers need further treatment as soon as possible. There are several specific conditions related to this. You need medical attention if you remove more than one teaspoon of blood when coughing. In addition to coughing, there is blood in the urine and stool. Watch your cough if you have other symptoms, such as dizziness, chest pain, fever, shortness of breath. Don’t ignore your condition if you lose your appetite and lose weight because both conditions can be important indications. Finally, coughing up phlegm mixed with blood that lasts more than a week.
To determine the right treatment, your doctor or hospital will apply several tests to determine the level of bleeding, its causes, and their effects on breathing. These tests can include:
- History and physical examination. The doctor will take a sputum sample to check for possible infection.
- General practitioners can refer patients to specialist doctors or hospitals for X-ray or CT scans. X-ray will detect the presence or absence of fluid and blockage in the lungs. While a CT scan will get a picture of the structure of the lungs in more detail.
- Bronchoscopy. Done by inserting an endoscope or a small tube with a camera at the end into the respiratory tract through the mouth or nose.
- Blood count / complete blood count (CBC). Namely blood tests to calculate levels of red and white blood cells in the blood, as well as cells that have an impact on blood clotting.
- Urinalysis to detect abnormalities in urine.
Several types of blood tests can be done to test for hemoptysis. The blood will be brought to the laboratory to obtain a blood chemical profile to detect possible electrolyte imbalances and disorders of kidney function. There are also tests to detect oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood because oxygen levels in people who experience coughing up blood are usually low.
Relieves Coughing Up Blood
Handling of blood cough is aimed at stopping the symptoms while handling the causes behind the onset of the condition, such as doing chemotherapy for the treatment of lung cancer. Besides it can be given steroids for inflammation or antibiotics for the treatment of pneumonia or tuberculosis.
Do not let the coughing problem get worse and do not heal for a long time. With the use of an appropriate and safe cough medicine, generally this bloody cough can be prevented, even if a coughing up of bleeding has occurred, it must be treated immediately to stop the symptoms while addressing the causes behind the onset of the condition.
There are times when the cause of a bloody cough cannot be identified specifically. This condition is called idiopathic hemoptysis. However, this condition should be consulted if it continues so that it can be treated immediately if it turns out to be a symptom of a risk of life-threatening disease.