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Kristin Hayes, R.N.

Why Do I Keep Coughing?

By June 22, 2009

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An article I recently read on CNN Health.com cites eight possible culprits for a chronic cough, (a cough lasting longer than eight weeks), among non-smokers. While none of the culprits are terribly shocking, pulling these causes together can be very helpful for those suffering from an undiagnosed chronic cough. If you're ready to investigate here's a good place to start:

Asthma and Allergies - Both very common causes of coughing, the two can be intrinsically linked. Many asthma sufferers cite allergies as a trigger for asthma symptoms. While a physician is needed to diagnose your cough you may want to try an OTC allergy medication such as Benadryl, Claritin, or, Zyrtec.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Also called COPD this disease can be caused by smoking and includes emphysema. It is also responsible for bronchitis.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - GERD occurs when acid from the stomach spills up into the esophagus. It becomes worse at night because the gravitational pull of lying down makes it easier for stomach acid to come up the esophagus and into the back of the throat. This can cause sore throats and coughing.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection - This is actually just a fancy term for common illness such as the cold and flu. Sometimes these illnesses can turn into something more severe - pneumonia.

Air Pollution - This can occur outside of the home as fumes from exhaust and other impurities in the air can irritate your lungs. It can also occur in the home from molds and spores.

Blood Pressure Medications - A dry cough can be a side effect of medications called ACE inhibitors which lower your blood pressure.

Whooping Cough - This has been a hot topic of conversation lately because this disease, also called pertussis, has made a comeback. Children are routinely vaccinated for whooping cough. However, it has recently been discovered that immunity only lasts about ten years. I know two adults who have recently suffered from whooping cough. An adult vaccination is available and a major concern has been that the adult population can pass whooping cough on to infants.

All of these illnesses can have severe consequences if left untreated. It's important to see a physician as soon as possible before the illness develops into something more serious.

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Comments
January 2, 2012 at 5:57 am
(1) Luke Hayes says:

I am 13 but I don’t smoke. I think it’s to do with my smoking probably all the time. I have had this for around, 4 weeks, and the coughing is chesty coughs. It is non stop, and it is really annoying me. Do you hace any ways to stop the constant cough?

November 14, 2012 at 1:34 am
(2) Kyle Tsoumaris says:

Im15 years old and I have been sick for a week but I’m a lot better now and at night I keep on coughing can someone please help me it’s kinda annoying and I can’t sleep with me keep on coughing.

December 2, 2012 at 11:17 pm
(3) Lydia says:

I’m 13 and this has been going on for about 3-4 weeks. I don’t smoke but my dad does. This coughing is really irritating. My lungs or something feels inflamed now because I have been coughing so much. Sometimes I cough up phlem but other times its just a thick raspy cough. It often is better when I wake up then gets worse throughout the day. Last year I had bronchitis but then it went away when they gave me this nose spray stuff. I started using it again now but it’s not really working. I don’t what this could be. Maybe it’s just a bad allergy but I don’t know -_-

February 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm
(4) Truck says:

I’m 17 and I keep coughing. It varies between chest and dry coughs and I’m not sick and I don’t have a cold. Cough syrup doesn’t seem to be helping much either. Please help me because this is very annoying. Thank you.

February 18, 2013 at 9:17 am
(5) rawr:3 says:

Im 13 … and i keep coughing . a non smoker and coughing for awhile now .. is there a cure ? it’s bothering me -_- my 12 year old brother has been coughing for a long time now . My whole family’s starting to cough . is there a cure ?

July 16, 2013 at 3:01 am
(6) jgurl says:

I am 17 , have not sick with a cold or flue et,c… I don’t smoke or any other drugs, I don’t have asthma or allergies, I can’t find a coughing symptom to make a disease or anything like that but I cough a lot through out the day, especially at night. every time I take a breathe inn something tickles my throat forcing it to cough out. I even drink plenty of water each day as well. Why is that? How can I make this stop?? Please any advise?

December 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm
(7) hello says:

I am 14 and I have been constantly coughing for roughly about a week. I tried several cough remedies and Cough syrup, like, Koff and Kold. And the cough is still there, sometimes its a chesty cough and I feel the need to clear my throat, I dont have the cold, but slight phlem comes up. Mos t of the time my throat tickes iand I have to let hat shallow dry cough out. Please give and an answer it is uncomfortable and annoying, I cough at night as well. I just hope it nun serious!!!:(

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