Why Can’t I Stop Coughing? 5 Common Cough Culprits

Why Can’t I Stop Coughing? 5 Common Cough Culprits

Common Cough Culprits

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one illness-related reason people go to the doctor is for coughing. That’s right, coughing. While most cases are temporary, coughing can be a sign of a bigger health issue, so it’s best to have some foresight so that you can get better, faster. But what happens if you are coughing for weeks? How do you know if it’s a cold or a sign of something more serious?

Even though you need to see a doctor to find out the exact reason behind your hacking, your chronic cough can be caused by a number of conditions. Check out our list of common cough culprits that can help you figure out what’s triggering that annoying cough.

Asthma – While asthma often rears its ugly head by causing wheezing and shortness of breath, cough-variant asthma can be the reason behind that dry, persistent cough you can’t seem to shake. Cough-variant asthma is usually worse at night, when you are exposed to allergens, during or after exercise, or breathing cold air.

Whooping Cough – This disease has made a comeback, and it’s highly contagious. So much so, the United States reported more than 18,000 cases. Also known as pertussis, whooping cough causes a person to have a long, intense coughing fit. The coughing fit is so intense that many people make a “whoop” sound after they gasp for air after a coughing fit.

Post-Nasal Drip – If you have a sore throat, frequent throat clearing, and a dry or wet cough that has lasted for over 8 weeks, this is a good sign that you may be suffering from chronic postnasal drip. If you have post nasal drip, mucus that accumulates in the sinuses drips down the throat, and this creates a tickling sensation that can cause you to cough.

The Common Cold – The cough associated with the common cold is usually a dry cough, accompanied by clear mucus. If you have a dry cough for three weeks or less, it is most likely due to the common cold. However, the cold virus can irritate the nerve endings in your air passageways, so your cough may persist for a month or so after your symptoms improve.

GERD – Known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD can be linked to roughly 25% of chronic cough cases. When you have GERD, acid often flows back up into the esophagus, irritating the nerve endings and triggering a persistent cough. Wondering how you can tell? Well, if you find yourself coughing when you lie down or sit up, or after a meal, these can be hints that GERD is the culprit.

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