You have a lingering cough that won’t go away for more than two months? Time to find out why.
Chronic cough can be a symptom of many diseases. If he doesn’t pass more than two months, it’s time to find out the reason.
Cough, from time to time helps us to clean lungs and prevent infection. However, sometimes a cough can become a chronic disease. Chronic cough is typically defined as cough that lasts for eight weeks or longer.
Even when the cough is not a sign of a serious problem, it can be annoying, uncomfortable, to wear down physically, interfere with normal sleep, cause dizziness, cause muscle pain, sweating and leakage of urine (especially in women).
The causes of chronic cough
– Cough reflex occurs not necessarily in the lung, the most common cause is irritation or disease of the upper respiratory tract and nasopharynx, allergic and vasomotor Renita, – says the doctor-therapist Rita Hoffman.
The most common causes of chronic cough are postnasal syndrome, asthma, and acid reflux of the stomach (heartburn). These three causes account for 90 percent of all cases of chronic cough. Less common causes include infection, drug allergies and lung disease.
Postnatally syndrome is a condition when nasal discharge dripping down the back of the throat, irritating the throat and causing a cough. Postnatally syndrome can develop in people suffering from allergies, colds, rhinitis and sinusitis.
Postnatalnogo signs of the syndrome include nasal congestion or runny nose, sensation of liquid in the back of the throat, and feeling the need to clear the throat. However, some people postnatally syndrome occurs without the additional symptoms and is characterized only by the cough.
Asthma is the second most common cause of chronic cough in adults and the leading cause in children. Except for the cough, you can feel the wheezing or shortness of breath. However, some people with asthma have no other symptoms except the cough.
The cough associated with asthma can be seasonal, can begin an infection of the upper respiratory tract, and can worsen when exposed to cold, dry air or certain fumes or odors.
Heartburn develops when acid from the stomach enters the esophagus that connects the stomach and throat. Many people with cough due to acid reflux suffer from heartburn and sour taste in the mouth. This condition can lead to chronic irritation and coughing.
Other causes of chronic cough
The cause of chronic cough can be a number of other conditions, these include:
Respiratory infection is an infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by colds where the cough lasts more than eight weeks. This may be due to postnatally syndrome (as described above) or with irritation of the respiratory tract, developed as a result of infection.
Use of ACE inhibitors, medicines known as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). These medications are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, is the cause of chronic cough in 20 per cent of patients. Switching to another drug often helps to eliminate cough within one to two weeks.
Chronic bronchitis – a condition in which the Airways are irritated, and cause coughing, sometimes wet. Most people with chronic bronchitis smokers.
Lung cancer. Although lung cancer can cause coughing, very few people with chronic cough have lung cancer. Cancer occurs more often in smokers, it may be suspected, when with a cough expectorated blood.
Eosinophilic bronchitis is a special form of inflammation of the respiratory tract may also cause chronic cough. This diagnosis is made when breath tests do not reveal signs of asthma, but the respiratory tract include sputum or biopsy shows the presence of cells called eosinophils. Eosinophilic bronchitis is much rarer than asthma.
To determine the causes of chronic cough, the doctor will ask you about your symptoms and conduct a physical examination. Chest x-ray usually recommended if your cough persists for 8 weeks or more.
Based on your symptoms and examination results, the doctor may recommend a trial of treatment. If your condition improves, further studies will be required. If the condition does not improve, more research will be required for diagnosis.
Pulmonary function tests are prescribed, if you suspect asthma, but other studies do not confirm this. During this study measured airflow entering the lungs and leaving the lungs.
To confirm the diagnosis of acid reflux (heartburn), may be tested, measuring the level of acid in the esophagus. This test is called pH-metry. Can also be assigned to endoscopy to determine irritation of the esophagus and obtain a biopsy of the esophagus.
Annually chronic obstructive pulmonary disease kills 3 million people around the world!
Treatment of chronic cough
Treatment of chronic cough is directed at eliminating the underlying cause.
A cough associated with postnasal syndrome can be improved when using a decongestant, nasal or oral antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, fluoroquinolones (tsiprolet) or a nasal spray containing ipratropium. Treatment (or treatment combination), depending on symptoms and medical history.
Nasal corticosteroids can help to reduce postnatally syndrome. The usual dose is one spray into each nostril twice a day.
Oral antihistamines can also help control cough, but can cause side effects such as drowsiness and dryness of the eyes, nose and mouth. Most of them can be bought at the pharmacy. Antihistamines that rarely cause drowsiness, such as loratadine or cetirizine, worse control the cough.
Decongestant drugs may improve nasal congestion. Nasal antihistamines can also alleviate the symptoms postnatalnogo syndrome, nasal congestion and sneezing.
When chronic cough is caused by asthma, you prescribe treatment controlling asthma. This treatment includes inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled glucocorticoids. These drugs reduce inflammation (swelling) of the Airways.
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When the cause of cough is the reflux, in order to get rid of it, you need to change the way of life:
To lose weight if you are overweight.
Avoid substances that increase reflux, such as fats, chocolate, Cola, red wine, acidic juices, alcohol.
To quit Smoking.
Try not to eat within two to three hours before bedtime.
Sleep on a high pillow.
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