If you’d be interested to learn more information regarding causes, symptoms, and treatment of constant cough then you will want to read this interesting article that offer lots of information on this subject that is sure to help you better comprehend the ins and outs that seem to confuse many people. Have a look at the article that I found the other day that goes over the subject and outlines the facts to help you understand better.
By Lynne Eldridge MD
If you’ve been coping with a constant cough you may be very frustrated, in addition to being worried about what your cough might mean. What are the possible causes of this symptom, what questions might your doctor ask, and how is this kind of cough treated?
Definition of a Constant Cough
There really isn’t a clear definition of a constant cough, but if you’ve been living with one you probably don’t need a definition. A constant cough is one that interferes with your day to day routine, or keeps you from getting a proper night’s rest. It may be hard to catch your breath.
It may lead to vomiting. It may leave you feeling totally exhausted. But whether it’s needing to speak on the job, caring for your children, or trying to sleep, constant coughing can clearly get in the way.
Coughs are usually described as acute or chronic. An acute cough usually lasts 3 weeks or less, whereas a chronic cough is defined as a cough lasting longer than 8 weeks. (Between 3 and 8 weeks it’s classified as subacute.) Your cough may be dry (non-productive) or you may cough up phlegm (a productive cough.)
Causes of a constant cough can range from those that are serious to those that are mostly a nuisance. Common, and less common but important causes may include:
Postnasal drip – Perhaps the most common cause of a constant chronic cough, is postnasal drip due to sinusitis or rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the nasal passages.) This cough is often productive of clear to whitish phegm and accompanied by throat clearing.
Viral infections – Infections such as the common cold and influenza are a common cause of a non-stop cough. The cough may be accompanied by other cold symptoms such as a runny nose, or symptoms of the flu, such as body aches.
Bronchitis – Both acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis can cause someone to cough constantly.
Allergies – Environmental allergies such as a mold allergy, as well as food allergies may cause a cough.
Bronchospasm – Constriction of the airways (bronchospasm) due to an allergic reaction or asthma can cause a cough. The cough is often accompanied by wheezing with expiration (breathing out.) If there is also swelling in the neck or tongue or shortness of breath, this can be a medical emergency (anaphylactic shock.)
Asthma – Asthma may be a cause of a steady cough. It is often accompanied by wheezing and chest tightness, but in some people a cough is the only symptom.
Acid reflux – Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can result in constant coughing due to the back up of acid from the stomach. A very common cause of coughing, GERD often causes episodes of coughing at night after lying down, and often results in hoarseness the following morning.
Smoking – A smoker’s cough can be non-stop at times. It is usually worst in the morning, and is often productive of phlegm.
Medications – ACE inhibitors, medications that are used to treat high blood pressure heart failure, may cause someone to cough night and day. Examples of ACE inhibitors include Vasotec (enalapril), Capoten (captopril), Prinivil or Zestril (lisinopril), Lotensin (benazepril), and Altace (ramipril).
Exposure to irritants – Exposure to secondhand smoke, wood smoke, cooking fumes, dust, and toxic chemicals can cause someone to cough repeatedly.
Croup – In children, croup can cause a ceaseless barking cough.
Pneumonia – Both viral and bacteria pneumonia can cause a cough, often accompanied by a fever.
COPD – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an important cause of a continuous cough, often accompanied by shortness of breath.
Whooping cough – With whooping cough (pertussis) periods of unrelenting coughing are often broken up by a deep breath – the whoop of whooping cough.
Hopefully this article answered a few of the questions about the causes of having a constant cough and will guide you down the road to finding a good treatment that’s right for you.