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6 Reasons Why You May Be Coughing So Much

If you've been suffering from a persistent cough lately, you're not alone. Coughing can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from common respiratory infections, like a cold or flu, to more serious conditions, like asthma or allergies. At Odessa Medical Enterprises, we understand how frustrating and uncomfortable excessive coughing can be. Today, we're delving into some of the most common reasons why you might be coughing so much, offering insights to help you understand what might be going on and when it's time to see a doctor. So let's dive in and explore the possible culprits behind that nagging cough.


Respiratory infections

One of the primary culprits behind a nagging cough is a respiratory infection, such as the common cold, flu or bronchitis. These infections irritate your airways, leading to inflammation, increased mucus production and coughing. Additionally, if you have a runny or congested nose due to allergies or a cold, the excess mucus can drip down the back of your throat (postnasal drip), irritating it and causing coughing. Typically, these types of coughs will improve as the infection clears up. Get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids and take cold & flu medication to help your cough (as long as your doctor approves).


Allergies

Allergies can also cause significant coughing. When you're exposed to allergens like pollen, dust mites or pet dander, your immune system can overreact, leading to inflammation in your airways and the urge to cough as your body tries to clear them. To relieve this type of cough, you can take over-the-counter allergy medication such as Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, etc. But speak to your doctor first, as they may have other recommendations to improve your allergies.


Asthma

People with asthma often experience coughing as a symptom, especially if their airways become inflamed or narrowed. Coughing in asthma can be triggered by allergens, cold air, exercise or respiratory infections. If you have asthma, make sure you take your medications as prescribed and learn how to manage your asthma symptoms.


Acid reflux (aka GERD)

Sometimes, coughing may be related to gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This is where your stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, irritating the throat and causing coughing, particularly at night or after meals. If you're experiencing acid reflux, take an over-the-counter antacid such as Prilosec or Pepcid to soothe your symptoms.


Smoking

Smoking is a major cause of chronic cough. The chemicals in tobacco smoke irritate the airways and can lead to chronic bronchitis or other respiratory conditions. Our pulmonologist specializes in treating symptoms and conditions caused by long-term smoking. You can set up a consultation with our office to create a treatment plan for your cough and other respiratory symptoms.


Environmental factors

Exposure to air pollution, smoke or other irritants in your environment can also lead to a persistent cough. Understand what triggers your cough and speak with your doctor to create an action plan and minimize your exposure to those triggers.


What you can do

While many coughs will resolve on their own with time, there are situations where it is important to seek medical attention. If your cough is accompanied by any of these symptoms, it's essential to consult with a pulmonologist immediately.

  • If you're coughing up blood

  • If you have difficulty breathing

  • If your cough is severe and persistent

  • If you have chest pain associated with the cough


However, if your symptoms are less severe, there are many things you can do to relieve your cough.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids to help thin mucus and soothe your throat.

  • Use a humidifier. Moist air can help relieve coughing from dry air.

  • Avoid irritants. Try to limit exposure to smoke, pollution or other lung irritants.


Remember, this information is meant to be informative, but it is not a substitute for a medical consultation. If you're unsure about the cause of your cough or are concerned about your symptoms, don't hesitate to contact our office for personalized guidance and pulmonary care. We wish you a speedy recovery and relief from that bothersome cough!


 

About Odessa Medical Enterprises

We are the office of Dr. Khavar Dar, MD and Janette Ornelas, FNP-C, providing pulmonary, critical care and primary care to patients in Odessa, TX. At Odessa Medical Enterprises, we believe that compassion is crucial for effective treatment. Together, we consider it our mission to serve our community and beyond with the utmost care.



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