Chronic Cough

Chronic Cough | Healthier Me Today

Chronic coughs are deep coughs that do not go away on their own. The causes depend from person to person. For a person to have chronic coughs, the coughs must occur many times over months. However, it is only one month for children as they still develop, and coughing can cause serious complications. Chronic coughs are uncomfortable and all different; they may be coughing fits, light but frequent ones, or ones with mucus build-up (dry or wet cough).

Causes of the Chronic Cough

There are over a dozen ways to develop this chronic coughing condition. However, the most common causes are asthma, acid reflux, and lung cancer.

Asthma

Asthma is a lung condition that gives someone the inability to breathe. People with asthma need an inhaler. This can cause coughing as a symptom all year round or triggered by seasonal changes (pollen, grass, dirt, etc.) It is important to note that you can develop asthma as a child and outgrow it. The condition may also develop because of lifestyle changes like diet and weight. Obese people are at risk for asthma because excessive weight presses against their lungs and organs.

Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux is a stomach condition where the acid creeps and builds up. During this condition, the acid in your stomach and food is not digested correctly and goes back up, causing burning in the back of your throat and vomiting. The feeling is irritating, which prompts chronic coughs if acid reflux is left untreated. Since the throat feels irritation frequently, the coughs are triggered, which tend to be drier.

Lung cancer

Sadly, a common cause of chronic coughing is lung cancer. This type of cancer occurs when a doctor finds a cancerous mass in their patient. The mass is on the lungs and grows. This type of cancer is the deadliest and is hard to treat. Lung cancer causes coughing as the mass interferes with the person’s ability to breathe, eat, and talk.

Symptoms:

Other symptoms can come with chronic coughing; however, not everyone will experience them. These include:

Diagnosis:

It is unnecessary to see a doctor about your condition most of the time. However, as it develops and worsens, it can interfere with your daily life. When this occurs, you should see your doctor. Chronic coughing can be a sign of an underlying medical condition that is fatal or damaging to your organs if untreated. Instead of taking the risk and assuming that the coughing will go away, you should go for a physical check-up.

After the general physical exam, your physician is likely to order tests like scanning and imaging tests at the doctor.

X-rays

When the condition and symptoms are severe, your doctor is likely to order an X-ray to get a better look at your chest. X-rays take clear images of the inside of your body, including important organs like the lungs. Through the X-rays findings, your doctor can determine damage or masses. In addition, the scanning machine takes pictures of masses or abnormalities that the doctors can then test through biopsies.

Mucus Lab Tests

Sometimes chronic coughing can cause mucus or be caused by mucus. If the color and your cough sound wet, your doctor can order exams to look closer at the mucus. The tests look at the color of the mucus and any infections or bacteria in the thick mucus.

Bronchoscopy

Another common test is Bronchoscopy. A thin tube and camera slide down a patient’s throat during this exam. The camera takes pictures to get a better look at what is happening with their lungs. The camera and tube are guided by the doctor carefully. During this procedure, it is common for doctors to take a biopsy and sample of abnormal tissue if it is applicable. Sometimes, chronic coughing is caused by a mass or tumor that blocks a person’s ability to breathe.

Treatment of Chronic Cough

There are many ways to treat chronic coughing. However, each treatment plan entirely depends on the underlying cause. While this is true, your doctor is likely to prescribe you an asthma inhaler to use. The inhaler works to relax the muscles that are prohibiting proper airflow. This can reduce your coughing fits temporarily.

When given an asthma inhaler, it is a big responsibility. Asthma attacks because of chronic coughing can be fatal. So use the inhaler as necessary.

If a virus or flu causes chronic coughing, you may need antibiotics. Usually, respiratory conditions are better after two to three weeks. After that, however, antibiotics are necessary if your respiratory condition worsens or does not get better with over-the-counter medication. As you take this treatment, though, you will need to rest to let your body fight off the illness.

If you prefer to treat your condition at home, you can as long as the symptoms and coughs are not severe. For example, chronic coughing can cause simple symptoms like a sore throat and coughing. Also, as long as you are not bleeding and there are no abnormal signs, you can treat the condition at home with natural remedies and over-the-counter cough medications.

Natural remedies can help soothe your throat and decrease coughing fits. Honey, for instance, soothes the throat. You can drink honey with hot tea. The tea works to build up your immune system and clear up your mucus. 

Over-the-counter medications work, too, though! You should look for a medication that acts as a suppressant to reduce mucus or soothe your irritated throat. It is best to look for the non-drowsy option too.

My Chronic Cough

Overall, chronic coughing is a condition that causes discomfort in your chest and lungs. Coughing frequently is not normal and needs to be checked out. However, the causes are usually not severe or fatal. Once you know the cause of chronic coughs, you can treat your chronic coughing fits.

There are ways to soothe and decrease your chronic coughs at home, alongside medical care. For example, teas with soothing honey and lemon can reduce the pain and swell in the back of your throat caused by coughing.


FAQ

  1. Can my cough be deadly? A cough is often nothing to worry about and will clear up with time or may simply be a reaction to allergies or asthma. However, there could be underlying causes. 
  2. Are there home remedies for coughs? Yes, there are many quick fixes, such as natural syrups and steam, that will help with your cough!

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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