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What Causes A Chronic Cough? - Health - Nairaland

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What Causes A Chronic Cough? by jannydear(f): 5:42am On Jul 08, 2018
Coughing is a normal body function, but when it lasts for a protracted time, it can affect daily activities. A chronic cough can either be wet  or dry.  It can produce phlegm or tickle the throat.

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A cough that last longer than 8 weeks is considered chronic. For children, if cough lasts longer than 4 weeks, then it is chronic. Common causes include allergies, asthma, bronchitis, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It can be a sign of a heart cough or lung disease in some cases.

What causes a chronic cough?

Chronic cough can be caused by different factors. Sometimes, more than one factor may be responsible. Some common causes of chronic cough includes:

Bronchitis. This causes long-term inflammation of the airways that can result to a severe cough. Bronchitis can be part of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an airway disease that is mostly caused by excessive smoking.

Asthma. Asthma causes the upper airways to be sensitive to irritants in the air, cold air, or exercise.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When acid comes back up from a person’s stomach and into their throat, the condition is called GERD. It leads to chronic irritation in the throat, and subsequently, cough.
Lingering after-effects of infection. Severe infection can cause a chronic cough to linger. Examples are flu and pneumonia. The airways can still be inflamed even when most of their symptoms have subsided or disappeared.
Postnasal drip. A postnasal drip is the result of mucus dripping down the back of the throat. This irritates the throat and triggers a cough reflex.
Blood pressure-lowering medications. Medications to lower blood pressure such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors can cause a chronic cough in some people.
Less-common causes

Some less common causes of a chronic cough include:

Cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis causes excess mucus in the lungs and airways, which can lead to a chronic cough.
Aspiration. This occurs when food or saliva goes down the airway instead of the food pipe. Bacteria or viruses may accumulate in the excess fluid, causing inflammation of the airway. Aspiration can cause pneumonia.
Bronchiectasis. Excess production of mucus can make the airways to become larger than normal.
Lung cancer. Persistent coughing associated with bloody sputum and chest pain can be a sign of lung cancer.

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Bronchiolitis. This condition mostly affects children. It is caused by a virus that causes inflammation of the bronchioles, which are small airways in the lungs.

Heart disease. Coughing and shortness of breath can be symptoms of heart failure or heart disease. This is called a heart cough. Symptoms may deteriorate when a person lies flat.
Sarcoidosis. This causes small growths to develop in the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes, and ski

Symptoms of Chronic Cough

Cough occurs when something causes irritation in the airways, causing the muscles in the chest and stomach to contract. The irritation causes the glottis that covers the airways to open quickly, making air to rush out and resulting in a cough.

A dry cough does not produce mucus. This type of cough mostly occurs in cigarette smokers and people who take ACE inhibitors. A wet cough produces mucus or sputum. This is seen in people with postnasal drip or cystic fibrosis.

When to see a doctor
If a person experiences the following symptoms along with a chronic cough they should seek emergency treatment:

fever greater than 103°F
shortness of breath
coughing up blood
chest pain
If a chronic cough interferes with a person’s everyday activities, it often warrants further examination by a doctor. Other symptoms that may mean a person needs to see their doctor include:

appetite loss
coughing up a lot of mucus
night sweats
unexplained weight loss


A doctor will ask questions about the person’s medical history, lifestyle habits, symptom and other information that may be useful for diagnosis. A doctor will likely also listen to the person’s lungs using a stethoscope. A doctor will require further testing to help with diagnosis. Tests may include:

Examining sputum sample for the presence of blood or cancerous cells
Imaging scans, such as X-rays or computed tomography scans to determine if there are signs of lung disease or inflammation
Bronchoscopy, where a doctor views the lungs for signs of irritation or disease.

The underlying cause of chronic cough will determine the type of treatment that will be administered. A doctor can decide to treat the most common contributing factors for a chronic cough.

A common cause for chronic cough is postnasal drip. So doctors may recommend the person taking decongestants or antihistamines to dry up secretions and reduce inflammation. Decongestant or nasal steroid sprays may also help.

Other treatment options may include making lifestyle changes and taking medications that reduce the effects of acid on the stomach. Examples of these changes can include:

eating several small meals a day
avoiding foods that trigger GERD, such as caffeine, citrus fruits, high-fat foods, chocolate, or peppermint
avoid lying down until two hours after eating
sleeping with the head of the bed raised or using extra pillows to elevate the head
taking medications, such as ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet), or famotidine (Pepcid)

Those who have a cough related to ACE inhibitors may wish to consult their doctor. There are some medications that may be able to reduce high blood pressure without causing a cough.

Risk factors

A person’s risk of developing chronic cough can be increased if they smoke cigarettes and exposes themselves to second-hand smoke. The smoke can irritate the airways and cause a chronic cough as well as lung damage. Exposure to chemicals in the air can also lead to long-term coughing.


Coughing can gets so severe that it affects a person’s daily life. A chronic cough can have the following additional effects:

insomnia if coughing occurs at night
daytime fatigue
difficulty concentrating at work and school

In rare cases, chronic cough can lead to:
broken ribs

Source: http://healthdiary365.com/what-causes-a-chronic-cough/

Re: What Causes A Chronic Cough? by Nackzy: 6:05am On Jul 08, 2018
Too much kissing
Too much sucking
Too much licking
Too much dust and
Too much cold

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