Your airways are lined with receptors that react to a wide range of stimuli, including irritant gases, dust, and excess mucus. If these receptors are triggered, a signal will be transmitted to your brain, which then sends the impulse back to your diaphragm and rib muscles. And this will make you act to clear these foreign gases or particles by coughing.
Once your airway is clear of any irritants, the coughing will stop. But in some cases, cough can become persistent and annoying. It can even disrupt your daily activities and work productivity.
Read further to learn six different things that may cause you to suffer from a stubborn cough along with ways to get rid of cough fast so you can return to living a comfortable and productive life.
6 Things That Could Cause a Cough
1. The aftermath of a viral infection
The most common cause of persistent coughing is an irritated airway after a cold or other viral infections. Fever, body pain, and other cold symptoms can go away after several days, but your cough can last for weeks. This is because the viruses make your airways over-sensitive and swollen. The cough will only subside once the viruses are gone.
Stress can put your health at risk. For instance, it will make your colds last longer. Allowing stressors to beat yourself daily, and not making an effort to deal with them, will compromise your immune system. This will then cause you to become sicker. So make sure to take time to relax, have a good night’s sleep, and enjoy life.
3. Breathing air that is too dry or too moist
Dry air, which is common during the cold months, can trigger a cough. Turning the humidifier up too high won’t help either because air that is too moist can encourage the growth of mold and dust mites that trigger asthma and other respiratory problems. Therefore, always aim for humidity levels of 40-50% in your home.
4. Underlying medical conditions
A person suffering from allergies and asthma is prone to frequent coughing. In fact, asthma attacks can be triggered by colds.
Moreover, a persistent cough can be caused by obstructive sleep apnea and acid reflux. Fortunately, these medical conditions can be treated. So if you are suffering from symptoms like heartburn, burping, regurgitation, nighttime gasping, insomnia, repeated awakenings, loud snoring or an ongoing cough, seek medical attention immediately.
5. Reduced fluid intake
Ideally, you must drink at least eight glasses of fluids each day. But if you are ill, you have to increase your fluid intake. Take note that water and other liquids can help loosen mucus in your respiratory tract so you can expel them easily through coughing. Avoid consuming drinks with caffeine like coffee because these will dehydrate you.
6. Bacterial infection
Once your airways become irritated after a cold, bacteria can invade easily, causing pneumonia, bronchitis or sinus infections. So if your cough is accompanied by pain and/or fever, you may already be suffering from a bacterial infection. In this case, consult a doctor ASAP. You may be advised to take antibiotics.
How to Get Rid of Cough
Today, there are plenty of effective home remedies for cough. If these do not work, over-the-counter cough medicines are good options as well, especially if your cough is already disrupting your regular routine and causing discomfort.
A 24-hour cough medicine, for instance, provides cough relief that lasts for a day. This way, you don’t have to take medications several times in a day. Also, this a great option for people who are on the go or those who are forgetful.
Also, there is a cough medicine that targets persistent wet cough. Aside from providing cough relief, it can also prevent chronic symptoms from worsening and reduce the days of antibiotic use. Furthermore, it provides protection against relapses because of an infection.
There are also cough medicines intended for children’s use. Don’t let a cough ruin your child’s daily activities, especially at school. By giving him a cough syrup for kids, symptoms can be eliminated gradually. In fact, there are some cough medications that works well with antibiotics to provide faster and better improvement.
A cough can become persistent because of several reasons. Luckily, there is a way to get rid of cough no matter what causes it. With effective cough medicine, your cough will go away in no time. But before taking any, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or are taking prescription medication, you must consult your doctor first. This is the best way to determine the exact cause of your cough and ensure that you get the appropriate treatment.