Whats Causing Your Cough?
A cough, while common, can be caused by all manner of things; some fairly benign and some more health-threatening. Here are a few reasons why you could be coughing.
Respiratory Tract Infection:
A cough is often a symptom of a cold, flu, pneumonia or other infection affecting the upper respiratory tract. Unlike most of the other symptoms associated with these conditions, it can linger for some time, whether because the infection is hanging around or because your airways are still inflamed and sensitive to irritation.
The leading cause of chronic cough in children and also common in adults, asthma can also cause wheezing and shortness of breath, although with at least one type of asthma, cough may be the only symptom. As you might expect, asthma-related coughs may be worsened by respiratory infections or other conditions characterised by coughing.
Blood Pressure Drugs:
ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors may cause a chronic cough; in fact, it’s estimated that 20 percent of people taking blood pressure medication develop a chronic cough that may linger even after medication is discontinued.
Gastro-oesophageal Reflux causes stomach acid to flow back into the oesophagus, so the throat and even the lungs can be chronically irritated, the result of which can be chronic coughing. There are other causes of cough, but keep in mind that an occasional, temporary cough is completely normal; it helps keep your lungs clear of foreign substances, secretions and helps to prevent infections. It’s the unrelenting cough that deserves a visit to the doctor for further investigation, if nothing else than to rule out anything serious as a causative factor.