There are many reasons that a person may experience persistent cough after cold. A cough is meant to protect the body by keeping items like mucus and other debris out of the air passages. After a person has suffered with a cold and is recovering, the airways remain sensitive. This means that any possible irritants may result in a coughing attack. Here is a look at what can be done to help and what can cause a chronic cough.
How To Stop A Persistent Cough?
There is no complete cure for a cough that exists following a cold. In most cases, it will go away with time. Drinking plenty of fluids or using throat lozenges should help. If coughing interrupts sleep, it may be smart to use a cough suppressant found over the counter in all drugstores. Products containing dextromethorphan work best since this ingredient is effective at stopping the cough reflex. In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe a stronger medicine called codeine.
May A Persistent Cough Mean Another Infection?
A cold typically lasts seven to ten days. A cough may last for weeks after a person’s other cold systems subside. However if a person has chest congestion, a person may have bronchitis. With this condition, lungs and airways become inflamed. This leads to a cough that is filled with phlegm. A person with bronchitis will be tired and have a fever as well. At this point, it may be best to visit a doctor to receive a prescription for an antibiotic. A doctor may also be able to recommend a cough medicine that contains an expectorant to thin mucus and a decongestant to clear chest congestion. A person should rest, use a humidifier, and stay well hydrated. After bronchitis clears, a person may still have a cough for a few weeks.
If a cough remains after a cold and the head is full of pain, it may mean that there is a sinus infection. During a cold, sinuses become inflamed. At times, mucus accumulates in these cavities and bacteria grows. The cough may be due to postnasal drip. A person with sinusitis may have a fever, pressure in the face, and a green nasal discharge. If these symptoms persist for longer than a week, a person may need an antibiotic to clear up the infection. Before seeing a doctor, it is wise to try a saline rinse and an over the counter decongestant. The cough should go away after the infection is over.
Causes Of Chronic Coughs
Many times a person has not recently been sick, but has developed a chronic cough. Chronic cough persists for an extended period of time and may be a result of an underlying medical condition.
- Asthma: A cough related to asthma usually varies according to season, gets worse in cold conditions, or appears after a cold.
- Acid Reflux: GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) occurs when acid from the stomach flows backward into the esophagus. When irritation is persistent, a person may experience a chronic cough.
- Medication: Certain prescription drugs cause a person to cough. For example, blood pressure medicine including ACE inhibitors may lead to this type of cough.
- Smoking: Bad habits including tobacco use, may cause a person to cough persistently. People who are exposed to secondhand smoke are also at risk. This cough is usually linked to lung damage.
A person may suffer a cough for many reasons. It is usually a part of a cold. However when the cold has passed, a cough may remain. When this occurs it is best to use a cough suppressant or lozenges until it subsides. If it persists and becomes worse or pain in the chest or head is felt, it is wise to consult a doctor.