It is normal to have an occasional cough, but when the cough lasts for a long time, it affects the entire daily routine. During this period, cough may be wet or dry, and sore throat may be felt. This is called chronic cough. Cough lasting more than 8 weeks in adults and more than 4 weeks in children is called chronic cough. Chronic cough is not a disease in itself, but it is caused by health conditions like asthma and allergies.

Today in this article you will learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of chronic cough -

(Read More - Common cold treatment)

  1. Symptoms of chronic cough
  2. Causes of chronic cough
  3. Treatment of chronic cough
  4. Useful tips about chronic cough
  5. Takeaway
Doctors for Chronic cough - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Cough is a symptom in itself, but when a person has a chronic cough, many other symptoms can also be seen -

A chronic cough can also have the following serious symptoms -

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Cough is caused by common allergies or irritation in the airways, but chronic cough can have some common or uncommon causes -

Post nasal drip

When the nose runs, the mucus goes out of the body, but when the mucus does not come out and goes back into the throat, it is called post-nasal drip. Normally the person swallows the mucus formed in the sinuses. It irritates the throat and triggers the cough reflex. Due to this, a cough can bother the person for a long time.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a disease of the lungs, in which chronic inflammation occurs. This disease can occur due to obstruction of airflow from the lungs. In this, the person may have a cough for a long time. You may also face difficulty in breathing.

There are many diseases which are considered to be uncommon causes of chronic cough -

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Infection

If a person has an infection like pneumonia or flu, he may also have a chronic cough. This may happen due to swelling in the airways. Apart from this, cough can last for a long time due to fungal infection and TB in the lungs.

Blood pressure medicines

People who take medicines to lower blood pressure may suffer from chronic cough. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor medicines can cause a chronic cough in some people. Therefore, before taking any medicine, definitely take the doctor's advice.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

GERD occurs when acid backs up into the tube that connects the stomach and throat. This can irritate the throat, which can cause a chronic cough.

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Bronchitis

The problem of bronchitis occurs when there is swelling in the trachea. In this situation, mucus starts getting produced more. Due to this, a person may cough for a long time. This disease is seen more in people who smoke.

Asthma

Asthma can be considered a main cause of chronic cough. Asthma occurs when the upper airways become sensitive to cold air, certain chemicals, fragrances, or exercise. In this situation, the person may have trouble breathing and wheezing. Constant cough can bother the sufferer of asthma.

Treatment of chronic cough depends on its cause. The disease that causes chronic cough is treated and efforts are made to reduce the symptoms of cough -

Blood pressure medicine

If the cough is due to blood pressure-lowering medicines, then you can talk to the doctor. For this, doctors can prescribe other medicines that reduce high blood pressure without causing cough.

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Decongestants or antihistamines

If the cough is due to post-nasal drip, the doctor may advise taking decongestants or antihistamines. These medicines can help in reducing swelling. It can also prevent mucus from going back into the throat. Apart from this, cimetidine and famotidine medicines can also help in reducing chronic cough. These can be consumed on a doctor's advice.

Antibiotics

Chronic cough caused by infection can be treated with the help of antibiotics. Antibiotics can help treat pneumonia or other bacterial infections.

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Inhaled steroids and bronchodilators

If a person is suffering from chronic cough due to asthma, the doctor may prescribe inhaled steroids and bronchodilators. These medicines can reduce airway inflammation and open narrowed airways. This makes it easier for the person to breathe. Apart from this, inhaled steroids and bronchodilators can also be used in the treatment of chronic bronchitis and COPD.

Acid reflux

If the cause of chronic cough is GERD, then the person is advised to take medicines that reduce the effects of stomach acid. Acid reflux medicines are as follows -

  • Antacid medicines
  • H2 receptor blockers
  • Proton pump inhibitors

Along with this, the doctor may forbid you to eat caffeine, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and high-fat foods.

In case of chronic cough, it is important to pay attention to some things, which are mentioned below -

  • One should not lie down for 2 hours after eating food.
  • Use a pillow to elevate your head while sleeping.
  • Drink an adequate amount of water. This will thin the mucus and come out easily. For this, you can drink hot liquids.
  • Always avoid overeating.
  • Take a bath with lukewarm water and steam.
  • Gargle with salt water, this will help remove the mucus.
  • If you smoke, stop it immediately.

A cough is usually a reaction to something that irritates the airways. The correct treatment for chronic cough depends on its cause. If you are troubled by a cough for more than 3 weeks, then definitely consult a doctor. Apart from this, if there is a bloody cough, high fever, difficulty breathing, and night sweats, then do not ignore these symptoms at all.

(Read More - Home remedies for dry cough)

Dr. Supriya Shirish

Dr. Supriya Shirish

General Physician
20 Years of Experience

Dr. Priyanka Rana

Dr. Priyanka Rana

General Physician
2 Years of Experience

Dr. Bajirao  Malode

Dr. Bajirao Malode

General Physician
13 Years of Experience

Dr. Deepali Singh

Dr. Deepali Singh

General Physician
3 Years of Experience

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