A lingering cough can be a persistent and bothersome condition that often sticks around long after the initial respiratory infection has subsided. Sometimes for weeks. It can often make you question whether you are still infectious and contagious. Understanding why it happens and discovering effective ways to get rid of a lingering cough is crucial for individuals seeking relief – both physically and mentally. Let’s explore how to stop a lingering cough by discussing the causes and some practical tips to stop this nagging symptom.
What Causes Lingering Cough after a Cold?
There are various reasons that could result in you having a nagging cough long after your viral infection has cleared up. Coughs that persist after upper respiratory infections, including a cold or the flu, are called post-infectious or post-viral coughs. As previously mentioned, these coughs can linger for weeks, sometimes up to eight.
The most common causes of lingering cough are post-viral irritation and postnasal drip. The respiratory tract may remain sensitive after a viral infection like the common cold or flu, leading to a lingering cough. Even after the infection clears, the airways can persistently remain inflamed, triggering cough reflexes.
Many times, a lingering cough can intensify at night. This is typically due to postnasal drip when mucus drains into your throat. At night, lying flat causes the mucus to run down the back of your throat and into your lungs. This can lead to chest congestion in addition to throat irritation and inflammation – both resulting in the need to cough.
Allergic reactions to airborne irritants such as pollen, dust, or pet dander can also cause ongoing irritation in the respiratory system. Persistent exposure to allergens may result in a chronic cough that continues even in the absence of an active allergy attack. In addition, exposure to pollutants or irritants in the environment, such as tobacco smoke or air pollution, can contribute to chronic coughing. Occupational exposures, especially in certain industries, may lead to prolonged respiratory irritation.
How to Get Rid of a Lingering Cough
When dealing with a lingering cough, incorporating certain practices into your daily routine can significantly contribute to relief.
Firstly, maintaining adequate hydration is crucial in soothing the throat and reducing irritation. Drinking plenty of water is vital, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the air, further alleviating discomfort.
In addition to staying hydrated, cough suppressants can be beneficial in controlling cough reflexes. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication, especially for prolonged periods, to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your specific situation.
Identifying and avoiding triggers is another key aspect of how you can stop a lingering cough. If allergies are suspected contributors, minimizing exposure to allergens and creating a clean, allergen-free environment at home is important.
Practicing good respiratory hygiene is a preventive measure that can help minimize the spread of respiratory irritants. Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, as well as washing your hands regularly, reduces the risk of viral infections and promotes overall respiratory health.
For individuals experiencing a cough related to postnasal drip, elevating the head during sleep can be beneficial. This helps reduce drainage that is suspected as an underlying cause.
It’s important to note that if the cough persists for more than three to eight weeks or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s crucial that you seek advice from your healthcare professional. A healthcare provider can conduct diagnostic tests to identify the underlying cause of the lingering cough and recommend an appropriate and personalized treatment plan for lasting relief.
Put a Stop to that Nagging Lingering Cough
Understanding the reasons behind a lingering cough is essential for effective management and relief. By addressing the root causes and adopting practical measures to soothe the respiratory tract, you can overcome the discomfort associated with persistent coughing. If in doubt, consult a healthcare professional to ensure a proper diagnosis and tailored treatment plan for lasting relief.