We all cough but seldom worry about it. Most coughing bouts are short-lived and are caused due to cold or flu. We cough for some days and feel better as the cough fades away. In contrast to this, coughing that persists for several days, weeks, months or even years. This is known as chronic cough.
What is Chronic Cough
Harvard Health Publishing (HHP) defines chronic cough as “one that lingers for more than three to eight weeks, sometimes lasting for months or even years.” Chronic cough can cause a lot of discomforts and so it should raise an alarm when you cough for a long time without any specific cause.
Causes of Chronic Cough
HHP reports that smoking is one of the leading causes of chronic coughing. It states that most smokers develop this kind of cough, sooner or later, which is known as smoker’s cough. In addition to this Healthline describes asthma, acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic bronchitis or some other forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), postnasal drip, infections (such as pneumonia or acute bronchitis), ACE inhibitors (these are the medications used to treat high blood pressure).
Symptoms of Chronic Cough
We now have an idea of chronic cough and its causes. Now let us look for its symptoms.
- Fever, especially if it's high or prolonged
- Experiencing a liquid dripping down the back of your throat
- Heartburn feeling
- Hoarse voice and shortness of breath
- Runny and stuffy nose
- Sore throat and wheezing
- Coughing up blood
- Weakness and weight loss
- Fatigue and loss of appetite
- Chest pain, which is not caused by the cough itself
- Night sweats
These are some of the warning symptoms that act as indicators to consult a doctor.
A persistent cough can cause exhaustion, worry, and embarrassment. It can keep you awake at night and can also impede work as well as social life. Thus, it becomes important to see a doctor without delay and get treated for your long discomforting cough.
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