Common Causes of Chronic Cough – What Should You Do About It?

Common Causes of Chronic Cough

Hey there, welcome to this blog post “Common Causes of Chronic Cough – What Should You Do About It?” Do you have a cough? It’s probably a cold. Wait, have you been coughing for months on end? Well, in this case, it’s probably something worse.

A cough that lasts for more than 8 weeks is said to be a chronic cough. In this article, we’ll be discussing 8 common causes of chronic cough, and what can you do about it.

Besides asthma and allergies, what are other reasons? Can digestive disorders like GERD result in chronic cough? What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease? Which types of respiratory infections can lead to chronic cough? We’ll be talking about all of these AND more…

Asthma and Allergies

Asthma and Allergies

Asthma is one of the most common diseases that children suffer from. It can affect you as an adult too. It’s a chronic disease that affects your lungs. When you have an asthma attack, you face wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and tightness in your chest.

There are different triggers for people for asthma attacks. Some get an attack from doing simple exercises. Others get them from irritants in the air. For a few people, certain types of foods can cause asthma. Cigarette smoke is also to blame.

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You’ll need to figure out what’s causing your asthma and avoid it. But asthma’s not the only thing. You need to consider allergies as well. About 40 to 60 million Americans suffer from what is known as hay fever. You can get hay fever from things like pollen and dust.

Similar to asthma attacks, you need to keep track of what’s causing your allergies to flare up. That way, you can try and avoid getting into these situations. Do you get asthma attacks often? How do you find relief? Share your tips with our community in the comments.

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, covers two conditions known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. When you have emphysema, your air sacs become droopy, and their shape gets disfigured.

That happens because the walls between air sacs get damaged. It can destroy the walls of the air sac itself. When this happens, the air exchanged between the lungs is reduced.

In the case of chronic bronchitis, you’ll have constant irritation and inflammation on the lining of your airways. Because of this, your lining becomes swollen and mucus forms in the airways.

As a result, you’ll have problems breathing. Those diagnosed with COPD usually have both conditions, although the severity of each varies. Symptoms of COPD include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest.

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The leading cause of COPD is smoking, with about three-quarters of the people diagnosed with the condition being smokers. Other causes include air pollution and chemical fumes. You’ll need to avoid these factors as much as you can to give your lungs a chance. Looking for answers on all the latest health and wellness news?

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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Also known as GERD, this is a disorder where your stomach acids and fluids fall back into your esophagus. It usually happens because of a weak valve. The main symptom of GERD is heartburn. Coughing is another common condition, along with chest pain and wheezing.

There is no age limit when it comes to GERD. Nearly everyone, from infants to old people, can be affected by it. People who already have asthma are at a bigger risk of being diagnosed with GERD. This is because their esophageal sphincter gets weaker from the asthma attacks.

If you want to get some relief from all the effects of GERD, try making some changes to your lifestyle. For example, you need to raise the head of your bed by about six to eight inches to avoid fluids from falling back.
Other things you can do include losing weight, avoiding smoking, cutting back on drinking, reducing food portions, and dropping caffeine.

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Respiratory Tract Infection

Respiratory Tract Infection - Common Causes of Chronic Cough

There are many types of these infections, including the common cold and flu. Coughing is the most common symptom of respiratory tract infection. You could also have a stuffy nose and a fever.

If your coughing lasts more than all your other symptoms, it’s probably because your passageways have continued to remain inflamed. This is called upper airway cough syndrome. It creates additional unwanted mucus and causes you to cough more than usual.

Pneumonia is one of the deadlier forms of respiratory tract infection. If you have a cough with greenish-colored mucus, it’s a sure sign. You’ll also have a fever, chills, chest pains, nausea, and weakness.

You can treat pneumonia using antibiotics. These antibiotics can clear the condition in a couple of weeks at most. You will, however, see coughing remain for a longer period. Before we move ahead, here’s another article you might like. Read and learn more about Skin Cancer – Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention. Now back to our discussion on the common causes of chronic cough.

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Air Pollution

Air Pollution - Common Causes of Chronic Cough

We keep hearing about air pollution being bad for our health. But how bad can that be? Can it give you a chronic cough? Most likely. Air pollutants and other irritants are some of the reasons why you’re constantly coughing.

Even if you breathe in exhaust fumes for a short period, it can irritate your lungs. This results in coughing. Such fumes also increase the effects of any allergies or asthma conditions. Another cause behind your cough can be mold spores in your house. These spores can make you wheeze so much, they will keep you up at night.

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ACE Inhibitors

ACE Inhibitors - Common Causes of Chronic Cough

If you have high blood pressure, it’s normal to be given ACE Inhibitors to treat it. This stands for Angiotensin (anj-ee-o-tense-in) Converting Enzyme. This is the same for any issues with heart failure. But the side effect of these inhibitors is that they cause a continuous dry cough.

The reason behind this side effect is an increased presence of bradykinin (brady-kinn-in). Bradykinin is a substance that breaks down in the body and accumulates in the respiratory tract.

A higher concentration of this substance will lead to more irritation and coughing. This doesn’t mean you stop taking the ACE inhibitors without your doctor’s advice. They’re important medications for blood pressure, which is a much more serious condition than coughing.

The solution could be a switch to Angiotensin (II) Receptor Blockers or ARBs. These do not prevent the breakdown of kinins and have a smaller chance of giving you a cough. You should check with your doctor about the options you have with your medication.

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Pertussis

Pertussis - Common Causes of Chronic Cough

Also known as whooping cough, pertussis (pert-us-iss) is a condition caused by a very specific bacteria. As you could have guessed, this bacteria is highly contagious. Symptoms for pertussis include fever and runny nose. But the most obvious symptom is a deadly cough that can make it difficult for you to breathe.

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The reason it’s called whooping cough is that you make a whooping sound while you’re trying to take in the air between coughs. It’s a very high-pitched sound that can have a lot of people staring at you. Chances are your fever won’t last too long, but the cough will remain for a number of
weeks.

Your best bet against pertussis is to get yourself vaccinated. While no vaccine is 100% effective, the chances of your condition worsening are far less likely.

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Chronic Smoking

Chronic Smoking - Common Causes of Chronic Cough

It goes without saying that smoking is bad for you. People who smoke frequently have a higher chance of getting some pretty bad diseases. Coughing is one of the ways your body tries to remove the toxins you breathe in through smoking.

This is usually known as a smoker’s cough. Usually, this cough is dry, but don’t be surprised if you get some phlegm. A study among military personnel showed about 40% of daily smokers developed cough and phlegm. Among those who were occasional smokers, it was 27%.

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Obviously, the easiest way to get rid of this chronic smoking is to quit tobacco entirely. While it’s possible, going cold turkey isn’t easy. So you can try various techniques to slowly bring down your smoking frequency before completely giving it up.

There’s no denying that coughing is a sign that not everything is well with your lungs. So can you do something about it? Definitely! How about eating certain foods? You can also do things to get rid of mucus and phlegm in your chest and throat.

Let’s take a look at a few more articles, shall we? Read The Best Immunity Boosting Foods During COVID 19. You can also try How To Keep Your Liver Healthy – 14 Foods You Should Eat. Go ahead, click one. Or better yet, read both. Do you struggle with coughing? Let us know in the comments below!

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