What causes persistent cough?

Over the weekend I got a really bad cold and with it came the usual cough.

I am a bit of a germophobe so having disgusting things come out of my body really pisses me off.

As I drank my glasses of orange juice by the gallon, swallowed some chicken soup and swaddled myself in a warm blanket I felt like the terrible ill feeling would never end.

By Monday I felt much better, the flu virus had passed and I was almost feeling like a person but I still had a persistent cough.

That got me thinking what causes persistent coughs?

Coughing is a normal body function that helps clear the lungs of foreign substances but if you have a cough that wont go away there must be an underlying health issue.

Possible health issues that could cause persistent coughs include asthma, postnasal drips, infections, bronchitis and medication

Asthma: Asthma is a respiratory condition that is caused by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs. When these spasms occur the patient would have difficulty breathing. Some forms of asthma are triggered by environmental factors such as exposure to cold air and this could lead to persistent coughs.

Postnasal drip: Postnasal drip is also known as Upper airways cough syndrome. It occurs when excess mucus from the nose accumulates at the back of the throat triggering bouts of cough. Postnasal drip can also be causes by other health issues including allergies, sinusitis and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Infections: A type of cough known as whooping cough is caused by a respiratory tract infection and it is highly contagious. It is called whooping cough because the sever cough causes the patient to inhale deeply with a high-pitched sound.

Bronchitis: Bronchitis often develops from a respiratory infection or a cold. People affected by this health problem cough up thickened mucus and it is caused by an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. Reoccurring bronchitis may be caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). So if you have continuous bouts of bronchitis seek medical assistance immediately.

Medication: Some medication such as blood pressure drugs have been linked to persistent coughs. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have been linked to chronic cough.

As I sipped some herbal tea I realized that I felt much better, my throat was less scratchy and that general feeling of malady was easing up. I was glad to see the end of my flu and looked forward to going out the following day.

Photo by stockimages. Published on 16 January 2015
Stock photo – Image ID: 100305411