Better Me

What’s Causing My Chronic Cough?

In the age of COVID-19, coughing in public is about as unwelcome as in-laws on Spring Break. So, throw on your mask, squirt some hand sanitizer and follow along as we explain a few ways to get rid of your non-coronavirus cough.

Why am I Coughing?

Tara Carr, MD, an allergy and immunology expert at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson in Arizona listed a few common causes for chronic coughing.

  • Post-nasal drip – This not-so-cute term refers to the steady flow of mucus that typically follows an infection or bad cold. This can also happen if you are going through a tough bout with seasonal allergies.
  • Asthma – You’re probably familiar with this condition, which is a disorder that makes it hard to breath during exercise or when exposed to an irritant.
  • Acid reflux or heartburn – When triggered, fluids from the stomach could irritate your esophagus and cause you to cough.
  • Air quality and allergies – Dr. Carr explained, “Springtime and fall coughs are often a result of pollen. Coughs during flu season typically come with sinus issues. In dry, windy areas, dust storms are a common cause for irritated lungs.”
  • Infections, tumors, medications – There are many other causes for chronic cough, from an infection that’s lingered after an illness or even medication for another issue. Visit a doctor if you are experiencing a cough that lasts for a week or longer, or if it is getting worse over time.

How Can I Stop Coughing?

There’s a number of home remedies including herbal teas and other soothing liquids. But in cases of chronic cough, you may only be treating the symptoms. When you visit your doctor, they will use attributes of the cough as tell-tale signs for the root cause.

Dr. Carr explained that in some cases, they may order an x-ray or other scan to get a full picture. Your doctor may recommend over the counter and prescription medication like allergy medication, antihistamines, nasal sprays and more. These solutions will work to address the original cause of your cough while also helping you be comfortable now.

Will I Ever Stop Coughing!?

Coughs are no big deal until they won’t go away. If you are dealing with chronic cough, you are likely having trouble sleeping, struggling to communicate at work or causing pain in other parts of your body. It’s not uncommon to deal with muscle soreness, chest pain or an upset stomach when coughing persists.

Don’t surrender to a life of constant interruption and discomfort. Work with a doctor to find what’s causing your chronic cough so that you can return to life. Don’t wait to schedule a visit with your doctor. Before too long, you’ll be working out, talking and sleeping with ease.

Cold and Flu Allergy and Immunology Ear, Nose and Throat Pulmonology and Asthma