A cough is a routine body function as a reaction to irritation to the throat lining. If your cough lasts for a prolonged time, it can be worrying as it disturbs the regular everyday life routines. Read on to know more about the annoying constant cough and why it happens?

 It is a constant cough if it lasts for more than eight weeks in adults and four weeks in children. Also called chronic cough, the constant cough symptoms present phlegm production if wet or tickle the throat if dry. A dry cough develops due to constant cough allergies like those from hay fever. The constant cough after vaccine may have the same symptoms as those of allergies, flu or cold. There could be several  reasons for constant cough, like infections, asthma, and others.

Constant Cough Symptoms

When something irritates the lining of the airways, the muscles in the chest and the stomach contract, this moves the glottis to open the airways leading the air to rush out, resulting in a cough.

The constant cough can be wet or dry. A dry cough does not produce mucus, while a wet cough produces it. Constant cough and throat tickle is caused by dry cough. Allergies can worsen the cough symptoms. The constant cough is characterised by signs such as

  • Frequent effort to clear the throat
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Stuffy or a runny nose
  • Hoarse throat
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • The feeling of a liquid running down the back of the throat
  • Heartburn
  • In rare cases, coughing up blood

It is best not to ignore persistent cough symptoms that continue for weeks, affects your working day, and disturbs night-time sleep. It may even lead to watery eyes which can further cause infection in eyes. Whether it is constant cough in covid or constant cough after covid, the symptoms you experience will resemble the symptoms of allergies, common cold, and flu. 

Constant Cough Causes

Occasionally cough is a natural and normal body response. It helps clear irritants and prevents secretions from building up. However, the constant cough generally has more than one underlying cause. It may be due to one or more of the following causes of constant coughing:

  • Asthma: 

Cough is the primary symptom of asthma. Asthmatic cough can worsen with exposure to fragrances, chemicals or cold. The cough due to asthma is seasonal and can also appear after a respiratory tract infection.

  • Infections: 

Cough can continue even after the other symptoms of respiratory tract infection have been addressed. Even after other symptoms subside, the airways remain inflamed and trigger cough. Constant cough can also occur with lung infections, tuberculosis, and fungal infections of the lungs.

  • Postnasal Drip: 

Causes of constant coughing might include a triggering of the nose or the extra mucus produced by the sinus that runs down the throat’s back. It is also known as Upper Airway Cough Syndrome.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): 

Constant coughing happens when stomach acid flows back into the passage connecting the stomach and the oesophagus (throat). The irritation to the throat lining causes coughing. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): The disease causes inflammation of the lungs, which blocks its airflow. The obstruction of air passage causes a cough, often with colored sputum.

  • Blood Pressure lowering Drugs: 

Certain medications prescribed for high blood pressure management may cause constant cough in some people.

  • Though less common, some people may experience constant cough in throat due to cystic fibrosis, aspiration, heart disease, lung cancer, non-asthmatic bronchitis, and pulmonary fibrosis.

Constant Cough Diagnosis

Usually, your doctor will ask for the medical history and carry out a physical exam. Both can provide significant clues about the cough. A detailed study on the dry cough diagnostic and magagement approaches has also been done to understand the problem better. Your doctor may order a full body checkup to understand the causes behind the persistent cough. Some of the tests advised are:

  • Imaging tests like X-rays and CT scans
  • Lung function test
  • Lab tests like Bronchoscopy

Constant Cough Complications

A cough can become a severe condition if the following symptoms accompany it like constant cough and fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up a lot of mucus, unexplained fatigue, appetite loss, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, and blood in the cough.

Constant Cough Treatment

An effective treatment plan can be devised after the cause of a constant cough has been established. There may be more than one underlying cause behind your chronic cough condition.

  • Smoking is known to aggravate coughing. You will be advised to quit smoking if you are a smoker.
  • If you are on medications that cause cough, your physician doctor will change the prescription.  
  • Till the time when the exact cause of constant cough is determined, your doctor may prescribe cough suppressants for temporary relief. The over-the-counter medicines aim to work on treating the symptoms only and do not cure the underlying disease.
  • Some lifestyle changes and home treatments can work as a cure for dry cough. Drink warm fluids to thin the mucus. Alternatively, you can suck on some cough candies.  Consuming honey, probiotics, and pineapple are known to relieve constant coughing. 
  • Your doctor will prescribe medications to cure chronic cough. As different conditions cause the cough, the medicines may include
  1. antibiotics if bacterial or fungal infection is the cause,
  2. inhaled asthma drugs for asthma-related cough
  3. antihistamines and decongestants for allergy-based cough
  4. acid blockers to treat acid reflux.     

A constant cough lasts for a prolonged period. It can leave you exhausted and disturb your sleep. A severe cough can also cause a lightheaded dizzy feeling and vomiting. While it may be challenging to identify one cause of constant cough, it is usually a combination of several factors. Fortunately, it is entirely treatable when the causes have been identified.

If you’re looking for permanent solutions for your constant cough, contact Dr. Gooddeed Clinics.

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