We’ve all been there before—awakened in the middle of the night by a hacking cough that just won’t quit—or sitting at work, trying to focus on our tasks but being interrupted every few minutes by a coughing fit. Along with sneezing, coughing is one of the most common ways our bodies expel unwanted irritants. But when coughs linger long after the initial illness has passed, it can be challenging to determine the root cause. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common causes of coughing and possible remedies.
Common Causes of Coughing
Sometimes, there is a constant tickle in throat causing coughing by minor irritants like dust or pollen. In these cases, the cough is usually self-limiting and will go away on its own within a few days. However, there are other times when a cough can indicate a more serious underlying condition. Some causes of coughing include
• Allergies: Seasonal allergies are a common cause of chronic coughing. When your body detects an allergen like pollen, it produces histamines as part of the immune response. These histamines can cause inflammation in the airways, leading to coughing fits. If you suspect that allergies cause your cough, over-the-counter antihistamines may provide some relief.
• Asthma: Like allergies, asthma is another condition that causes inflammation in the airways. Asthma attacks can be triggered by various things, such as exercise, cold weather, or even st. If you have asthma and think you might be having an attack, sit up straight and take slow, deep breaths. You may also use a rescue inhaler if you have one prescribed by your doctor.
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): GERD is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus—the tube connecting your throat to your stomach—irritating the lining and causing symptoms like heartburn and coughing.
Ways to Soothe a Cough
• Drinking plenty of fluids: Staying hydrated is essential when you’re sick, as it helps thin out mucus and makes coughing less productive. aim to drink eight to ten glasses of water or other fluids daily.
• Taking a steamy shower: A shower’s warm, moist air can help break up mucus and relieve congestion.
• Using a humidifier: A humidifier can also help add moisture to the air and ease coughing and sore throats. Just be sure to clean the humidifier regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
• Gargling with salt water: A simple saltwater gargle can help soothe a sore throat and loosen mucus. To make a saltwater gargle, add one teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water and stir until dissolved.
If you’re dealing with a lingering cough that doesn’t seem to go away, it could be caused by anything from seasonal allergies to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, treatments available for each of these conditions can help you find relief and get back to your everyday life without being interrupted by constant coughing fits. So talk to your doctor about what might be causing your cough and explore different options for treatment so that you can finally put an end to that pesky cough once and for all!