Trying to learn about chronic cough causes and treatment? You’re not alone. Coughing, while not exactly pleasant, is a natural part of life. A chronic, persistent cough, however, is not. Normally, our cough protects us by freeing our air passages of mucus or foreign items. You may also be accustomed to coughing due to common illnesses.
But what if your cough becomes a chronic, persistent cough and doesn’t go away? That’s when it’s time to understand chronic cough causes and treatment.
What is a chronic cough?
The first thing to keep in mind when looking into chronic cough causes and treatment is knowing what exactly constitutes a chronic, persistent cough. As mentioned before, what differentiates a chronic, persistent cough from a “regular” cough is the duration of the coughing.
Chronic coughing lasts longer than the few days of coughing you might experience with a cold or the flu. Most doctors define a chronic cough as a cough that lasts eight weeks or longer. After eight weeks, it’s time to learn about chronic cough causes and treatment and seek medical attention.
Chronic and persistent cough symptoms
Identifying chronic cough causes and treatment can be tricky. Chronic cough symptoms run the gamut in terms of variety and severity. The most frequent symptoms include:
- Postnasal drip, identified as the feeling of liquid running down the back of your throat (Learn more about sinus headaches and postnasal drip.)
- A sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose or congestion
Left unidentified and untreated, a chronic and persistent cough can escalate to the following:
- Sleep loss
- Night sweats
- Chest pain
- Unplanned-for weight loss
- Fractured ribs (in extreme cases)
- Coughing up blood (in extreme cases)
Frustratingly, it’s possible for these symptoms to contribute to additional discomforts. The anxiety brought on by a persistent, chronic cough can cause further complications, such as sinusitis stress and sinusitis nausea.
Chronic cough causes: what are the causes of a persistent cough?
What made my cough a chronic cough? Can a sinus infection cause a chronic cough? What about my asthma? Chronic cough causes and treatments are varied, but here are the main culprits:
- Bacterial infections and viral infections (whooping cough, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.)
- Postnasal drip
- Allergies and sinus infections
- Some medications
Chronic cough prevention and treatment: how do I get rid of my cough?
A chronic, persistent cough is best treated by addressing the aforementioned causes diseases head on.
- Asthma: For chronic cough treatment, inhalers and steroids may be used to soothe irritation and inflammation of the airways, making it easier to breathe.
- GERD (acid reflux): Those with chronic cough caused by GERD should avoid acidic foods, lying down directly after eating, and overeating. There are many OTC medications that are effective at treating GERD.
- Bacterial infections and viral infections: It’s possible that your doctor will need to examine your mucus to determine the best course of action. Depending on the infection, your doctor may or may not prescribe you antibiotics. For others, you may simply need bed rest, pain relievers, and to drink enough water.
- Allergies and sinusitis: Your doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics to treat a chronic cough caused by sinusitis. If you have chronic sinusitis and chronic cough, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor about more long term sinusitis treatment.
- Postnasal drip: OTC decongestants and antihistamines, inhalers, and steroids are the goto remedies for a chronic cough caused by postnasal drip.
- Smoking: Smoking is the most common cause of chronic cough. Talk to your doctor about which treatment options for stopping smoking might work best for you.
- Some medications: If your medications are causing you to have a chronic cough, talk to your doctor about other medication choices. Do not stop taking your medications without first consulting your doctor.
Stop your chronic cough
Don’t just research chronic cough causes and treatment, stop it from occurring! If your chronic cough is caused by sinusitis or other sinus issues, Dr. Kaplan and Kaplan Sinus Relief may be able to help. Kaplan Sinus Relief specializes in providing sinus and allergy attack relief via balloon sinuplasty treatment. Balloon sinuplasty is a quick and minimally-invasive procedure that clears your blocked sinuses and allows you to breathe easier and cough less.
The balloon sinuplasty success rate is very high, and Dr. Michael Kaplan and his entire staff are committed to providing high-quality patient care. Let Dr. Kaplan and his team assess your sinus issues and help you stop your chronic, persistent cough today.