I am coughing from the past 14 days, do I need a chest x-ray?

Q. I am having persistent cough, and my doctor told me that there is no need for taking x-ray. Do you think the same?

Answered by
Dr. Mohammad Aamir
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 22, 2015 and last reviewed on: Dec 24, 2021

Hello doctor,

I have had a persistent cough for 14 days. I feel something like phlegm, but I cannot spit it out. I feel shortness of breath also. The doctor has diagnosed bronchitis, but I want to be sure about it. My doctor told me that there is no need for taking an x-ray, do you think the same? He gave me a nasal spray, cough syrup, antibiotics, and another medicine. I am taking a lot of fluids, and I have stopped drinking or eating cold items. Please let me know if the diagnosis done is correct?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yes, most likely, you have bronchitis. But it would help if you did sputum microscopy. Please answer the following:

1) What is your age?

2) Do you smoke? If yes, how many packs a day and since when are you smoking?

3) Is the cough more at night and wakes you up from sleep?

4) Do you have any fever or a sore throat?

5) What are the names and compositions of medicines your doctor has prescribed you?

6) Where do you work? Is there any pollution in your workplace?

Hi doctor,

Thanks for your reply. My age is 24 years. I used to smoke five cigarettes per day but, I have quit smoking now and have not smoked a single cigarette for the last month. No, the cough does not wake me up during sleep. I had a mild fever a few days but no sore throat. Sorry doctor, I do not have my prescription with me. What is sputum microscopy?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Sputum microscopy is the test where your sputum is tested under the microscope to check if there are any bacteria in it. It is also used to check TB (tuberculosis). It is mandatory to check for TB if you cough for more than two weeks. If it is more than five years, you should also do a chest x-ray. You have not mentioned when you have started smoking? Try not to smoke any more.

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