Your Cough Timeline
1 - 3 days
Most coughs are caused by colds or flu. They usually come with other symptoms such as a runny nose, fever, sore throat, earache or general aches and pains.
If your cough is a result of a cold or flu, you do not need to see the doctor. There is no quick way of getting rid of a cough. It will usually clear up after your immune system has defeated the bug that is causing it. The simplest and cheapest way to ease a tickly or chesty cough is with any of the common over-the-counter remedies. Ask your pharmacist for advice.
4 - 7 days
By this stage, many tickly and chesty coughs will start to improve, but sometimes coughs can last longer. You can continue to take over-the-counter remedies if you need them.
7 - 21 days
Your cough should be better by now but if it lasts more than three weeks, you should see your doctor.