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Coughing is the worst. It hurts your chest, your head, and it totally wears you out. It can make it really difficult to do even the most simple things like eat or sleep. And they are bad enough when they only last for a while, but when you have a cough that lingers, it can really make life a little bit worse for you.
But there are quite a few reasons you might have a lingering cough, and you need to figure out what's causing it.
Most of the time, a lingering cough is just part of a cold that won't completely go away. You might feel fine, but you are still coughing. This is nothing to worry about and it's nothing sinister. It's just really annoying because it won't go away.
Try taking cough medicines and sweets and sleep with your head elevated to help stop mucus from gathering in your throat and lungs and making you cough.
I'm not talking about an allergy, just an intolerance. Things like dairy or gluten can cause a chesty cough if you have even a slight intolerance. Try cutting out whatever food you think it might be for a month and see if your cough gets any better.
Whether you are intolerant or not, dairy foods can make coughs worse because they make the body produce more mucus, and your body clears mucus out by coughing it up. So it is best to avoid dairy if you already have a cough.
Believe it or not, you don't always have asthma as a child. You can develop it as an adult, which can cause a persistent cough. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 30 percent of all adult asthma cases are triggered by allergies.
Unfortunately, asthma isn't something you can deal with yourself. You need to speak to a doctor and they will prescribe you an inhaler to help stop you coughing.
Whether they are caused by pollen or animals, allergies can cause a cough that won't go away. This cough is caused by raised levels of histamine and this is the body's natural reaction to it. A cough can also be accompanied by a skin rash, headaches, itchy eyes, a runny nose, or even a swollen tongue.
The best way to see if it is an allergy that is causing your cough is to take an anti-histamine. If your cough goes away after taking one, then allergies are probably causing it.
If your tongue starts to swell at any point, please seek immediate medical attention, don't wait.
Very few medications will actually make you cough, but some medications can make your mouth and throat really dry, which will cause you to cough. Drink plenty of fluids and try honey and lemon. The honey really helps coat the throat and stops it from becoming so dry.
Cough sweets are another way of helping a dry throat. They help produce more saliva and leave a protective film over the throat lining for a while.
Acid reflux is where stomach acid travels up your chest and into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn, bad breath, bloating, a sore throat, and a cough that never seems to clear up.
Antacids and medications called Proton Pump Inhibitors are the best ways to treat acid reflux. It doesn't go away on its own. It needs medication and lifestyle changes like eating smaller meals and avoiding foods that trigger it.
Damp and mold can occasionally be the cause of a persistent cough. Mold spores can trigger allergies and make life very unpleasant. Check your home for damp or mold and try to treat whatever is causing it.
This can be an expensive and lengthy process, so purchasing a dehumidifier can help in the short term.
Both central heating and air conditioning can both dry your throat and lungs out, making you more sensitive to things like dust, which will make you cough. Keep your heating as low as you can manage and only use your air conditioner when you really need it.
Very occasionally, a cough can be something more sinister like cancer, so if you think that there is even the slightest possibility that it is, go and see a doctor as soon as possible.
Always get medical advice.
These are just a few things that could potentially be causing your cough, but if you are worried about a cough, then always consult a medical professional.