Coughing fits don't necessarily indicate a cold, the flu, or something more dire. Although a chronic cough could be an indication of something serious, it is often due to asthma, allergies, and other controllable conditions. If you have a chronic cough, you should have it diagnosed and then take steps to address the condition.
A chronic cough can be caused by allergic rhinitis, the inflammation that results due to certain allergy triggers such as mold and pollen. The post-nasal drip that often occurs as part of an allergic reaction can irritate your throat and lungs, causing you to frequently cough. If you tend to cough more often in the spring and the fall, seasonal allergies are probably to blame. When allergies are the culprit, being in an air conditioned building should eliminate or greatly reduce your cough. Also, increased coughing when you are around pets is a good indication that your beloved furry pal may be triggering your hacking.
A chronic cough is one of the most common signs of asthma. Doctors often discuss "productive" or "nonproductive" coughs. An asthma cough is generally unproductive because it does not bring up any mucus. A cough itself is caused by inflamed airways that often lead to wheezing and a tight chest. These conditions can then exacerbate the chronic dry cough that asthma often brings, particularly at night. Asthma is a serious condition, but it can be controlled with the right medications and preventative measures. Remember that you do need to have any chronic nonproductive cough checked out by your primary physician.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a chronic condition that causes acid to back up into your esophagus. Often serious heartburn is a symptom, but for some people, the primary symptom is a chronic cough. If you do not have asthma, allergies, or an infection, your doctor may test you for GERD. If you have this disease, the doctor may prescribe medication as well as lifestyle changes to treat the condition. Losing weight has been found to help relieve these symptoms.
Chronic coughing can be an indication of a serious condition such as COPD, but more often it is the result of less serious conditions such as asthma, allergies, or GERD. If you have a chronic dry cough, don't be too concerned but do visit your doctor. Chances are your medical professional can create a treatment plan that will greatly reduce your cough.