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Postnasal Drip

Chronic cough; sputum mucoid or mucopurulent

Repeated attempts to clear the throat. Postnasal discharge may be sensed by patient or seen in posterior pharynx. Associated with chronic rhinitis, with or without sinusitis

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic cough; sputum mucoid to purulent, may be blood-streaked or even bloody

Often longstanding cigarette smoking. Recurrent superimposed infections. Wheezing and dyspnea may develop.

Bronchiectasis

Chronic cough; sputum purulent, often copious and foul-smelling; may be blood-streaked or bloody

Recurrent bronchopulmonary infections common; sinusitis may coexist

Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Cough dry or sputum that is mucoid or purulent; may be blood-streaked or bloody

Early, no symptoms. Later, anorexia, weight loss, fatigue, fever, and night sweats

Lung Abscess

Sputum purulent and foul-smelling; may be bloody

A febrile illness. Often poor dental hygiene and a prior episode of impaired consciousness

Asthma

Cough, with thick mucoid sputum, especially near end of an attack

Episodic wheezing and dyspnea, but cough may occur alone. Often a history of allergy

Gastroesophageal Reflux

Chronic cough, especially at night or early in the morning

Wheezing, especially at night (often mistaken for asthma), early morning hoarseness, and repeated attempts to clear the throat. Often a history of heartburn and regurgitation

Neoplasm

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