Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Your Cough Could Be More Than Just A Cough

In the United States, many individuals develop a cough. There are seasonal allergy coughs dust allergy coughs, coughs that are symptoms of the common cold, and coughs that accompany bronchitis- just to name a few. Although these coughs could be irritating and tiring, they are not serious. As a matter of fact, these coughs decrease and then subside completely with over the counter medications and sometimes what physicians call “coughing pearls.” The sick individual ends up feeling healthy in a matter of days to a week. Then, the ill version of yourself is in the past. You breathe a sigh of relief, because let’s face it, no one likes being sick. However, there could be a time when your cough isn’t just a cough. In fact, your cough could lead to something extremely serious such as a chronic illness or a lung disease or infection. Here is when your cough could be serious, and the signs you should look for. After all, you want to be healthy as much as possible.

Nontuberculous Mycobacteria

Nontuberculous Mycobacteria is a common form of bacteria found throughout the United States. This bacteria has over 180 species that individuals come in contact with on a daily basis, in their every day lives. Nontuberculous Mycobacteria survives in water, soil, and in the air. Therefore, it’s inevitable that we, as human beings, breathe in this exact bacteria. In addition, Nontuberculous Mycobacteria can affect animals as well.

When it comes to Nontuberculous Mycobacteria, not every single person that is exposed to this bacteria, experience negative side effects from it. In order to be physically influenced by, and have your health compromised by this type of bacteria, you need to have a preexisting lung condition. These conditions can include, but are not limited to, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and the rare condition, bronchiectasis. If you have any of these conditions you are at risk of developing an illness through breathing in Nontuberculous Mycobacteria. This is who gets ntm.

When Your Cough Is More Than A Cough

When you’re exposed to Nontuberculous Mycobacteria, you will develop symptoms that mimic Tuberculosis (TB), although you do not have TB. One such symptoms is coughing up blood. If you experience Hemoptysis, your illness is more than something that can be treated with over-the-counter medications. Yes, your cough is more than just a cough. Additionally if you experience Hemoptysis alongside fatigue, decreased appetite, weakness, shortness of breath, and a low-grade fever (just to name a few), you have symptoms of ntm lung disease.

NTM Lung Disease Treatment

Even though NTM is serious, it is important not to panic. In fact, NTM is treatable. Your doctor will treat your NTM disease or infection with antibiotics. Since NTM has similar symptoms to Tuberculosis, it is quite simple to treat. Unlike TB, some variations of the bacteria that causes this disease or infection, do not respond well to certain antibiotics. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe many antibiotics for you to take (mainly three at the same time). It is important to note that, depending on the severity of your illness, you may be on antibiotics for quite some time. Some individuals with NTM disease or infection needed to be on antibiotics for a number of years before they were finally healthy. However, it is great that this disease is treatable.

If you suspect that your cough may be more than just a cough, or you’ve been exposed to Nontuberculous Mycobacteria and now have the symptoms of NTM disease- you should visit your primary doctor as soon as possible.

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