Allergies and Chronic Cough: How Are They Connected?
Allergies and Coughing
A new cough that comes on suddenly could be a sign of a cold, infection or other illness that will usually go away in a week or two. But when you seem to be coughing for weeks on end with no relief in sight, it's very possible that you aren't sick but have a bad case of allergies instead.
Please review the following list of ways that allergies and coughing go hand in hand.
- If you're allergic to common allergens such as dust, pollen, mold or animal dander, you may find that just being exposed to these items can be causing your coughing to flare.
- In addition, allergies can cause a condition called postnasal drip, which occurs when mucus from your nose drips into the back of your throat and can worsen the coughing fits.
- Further, once allergies and related postnasal symptoms cause your airways to be sensitive, exposure to a variety of pollutants can further intensify the situation. This explains why things like cigarette smoke, burning logs and traffic exhaust fumes can increase the allergies and coughing combination and make it even worse.
Treatment Options that Exist
You may have had allergies and coughing for so long you've begun to wonder if the problem will ever leave you. The good news is that there're some remedies you can try to help quiet the coughing and give your throat a much-needed rest. (Just be sure to talk to your doctor first, since every cough is different.)
You can try an over-the counter cough suppressant to help control your cough and help you sleep better. Or, you can try cough medicines that thin mucus to make your cough more productive. You should also take steps to reduce your contact with allergens to avoid the reaction. Finally, use antihistamines as needed to prevent your immune system's response to them as best you can and prevent the asthma and coughing link from causing you to lose sleep.
A Last Resort to Quiet Your Cough
When all else fails, your doctor may treat your allergies and coughing by giving you a strong prescription medication containing codeine or other drugs that can help to control the symptoms, especially during times when your allergic reaction is at its peak.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
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