Have you been experiencing nagging cough for a long time? Do you often feel embarrassed when you keep coughing in public places? Are you fed up with that stubborn cough that has made you abuse drugs on several occasions? Cough is a common reflex action that clears the throat of mucus or foreign irritants.
Coughing to clear the throat is typically an infrequent action, although there are a number of conditions that can cause more frequent bouts of coughing. In general, cough that lasts for less than three weeks is an acute cough. A cough that lasts from three to eight weeks, improving by the end of that period, is a sub-acute cough. A persistent cough that lasts more than eight weeks is a chronic cough.
Most cough episodes will clear up, or at least significantly improve, within two weeks. If you cough out blood or have a “barking” cough, talk to your doctor. Any cough that hasn’t improved after a few weeks may be serious and would require you to see a doctor. There are many reasons why cough may go beyond that but not improve.
The Common Cold
This usually runs for through a week or two. if you are dealing with a wet cough, the signs are usually running nose, sore throat, headache, sneezing or fever. This is usually common during the rainy season which is the season of passing on germs. There are cough suppressants or expectorants you can pick up to clear your lungs but you should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before use.
Usually, bronchitis runs through a few days to a few weeks. This kind of cough sounds like you are barking. It often starts with a small cough and gradually develops into a noisy, sometimes painful, and wet cough. It is usually very stubborn and it comes with a lot of phlegm in shades of brown, green, and yellow. Treatment is usually rest and warm fluids to break up the mucus clinging to your lungs or an inhaler to help open your airways. However, if the bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection, you’ll need antibiotics to clear it up. Don’t go about picking up antibiotics on your own without your doctor’s prescription.
The life cycle of this type of cough takes from a few weeks up to a month. This happens when there is an infection in the air sacs in the lungs. It can be caused by a virus, bacteria or fungi. Sometimes, the symptoms can be mild or severe and it can come with phlegm or can be dry. Other symptoms include fever, tiredness, and shortness of breath. Older adults or children need to seek quick medical attention. A chest x-ray is usually ordered to diagnose the infection, and a course of antibiotics (if it’s bacterial) can clear the bugs—and cough—out of your lungs.
Post Nasal Drip (Chronic)
This kind of cough comes harder at night when you are lying down. Oftentimes, people with this kind of cough feel mucus from their sinuses sliding down the back of their throat, which triggers a wet cough and they also have a nauseous stomach in the morning too. For some people, it’s obvious, this is happening, and they have other allergy symptoms like sneezing or an itchy nose—while others only show more subtle signs. Antihistamines or a nasal steroid (both available OTC) can help clear the sinuses.
This is a chronic cough which normally starts from childhood. This happen because the airways are narrow and swells. When this happens, breathing becomes tough. Since your lungs have better airflow during the daytime and late afternoon, this kind of cough usually happens mostly at night or in the morning. Asthma is often diagnosed through breathing or lungs function tests. Inhaled steroids or some other drugs are used to prevent and treat symptoms.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
This also a chronic cough. One of the triggers for this type of cough is when acids travel from your stomach back to your esophagus. It’ll usually come out after eating a big meal or in the mornings and evenings when you’re lying down and acid can flow freely. Very few people can actually develop cough without any other obvious heartburn symptoms, which can make it tricky to diagnose unless a doctor sends a camera down your throat. You have to limit fatty or spicy foods, alcoholic drinks, and caffeine.
Stress, especially when it’s chronic, can make colds last longer. To beat back a lingering cough, slow down and reduce stress while you’re sick. Pushing yourself too hard might make you sicker. One way to relax is to rest more: Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
Your Blood Pressure Medicine
Do you take an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure? If so, that may be why your cough won’t quit. About 1 out of 5 people who take ACE inhibitors develop chronic, dry cough as side effect. If you have this side effect, don’t just stop taking it but talk to your doctor. Another drug may work better for you.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease.
In healthy people, infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis often causes no symptoms, since the person’s immune system acts to “wall off” the bacteria. The symptoms of active TB of the lung are coughing, sometimes with sputum or blood, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics.
COPD, Lung Cancer or Chronic Heart Disease
These are super stubborn coughs that are not responding to any treatment. You have tried all you can but the cough is not going. if you have a cough you have been battling with for two to three months or longer, then it will be a great idea to see your doctor to rule out some of the more rare, scary causes of chronic hacking like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, usually caused by smoking or other inhaled irritants),lung cancer, or even heart problems.
Women rarely think of cardiac problems, so if you have a family history of heart disease or you’ve got other risk factors like high blood pressure, you definitely want to see a doctor.