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Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Persistent Cough: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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What is Persistent Coughing?

Windowofworld.com – Persistent Cough is an abnormal condition that requires caution. A long cough and does not go away despite taking medication, can be a sign of the possibility of asthma, chronic bronchitis, stomach acid disease, tuberculosis, COPD, and to lung cancer.

In medical terms, a persistent cough that lasts for a long time, which is around two months or more in adults, and one month or more in children, is called chronic cough. Chronic cough itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying health problem or disease.

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There are many factors that can cause symptoms of Persistent Cough. Smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke too often is one of the main causes of chronic cough. In addition to smoking, lack of drinking can also cause a persistent cough and never heal, can even worsen a cough and flu.

Causes of Persistent Coughing

Besides smoking, here are some possible causes of persistent cough, starting from the most common:

1. Asthma

Asthma sufferers generally experience persistent cough accompanied by shortness of breath after exposure to the triggering factors of asthma attacks. Asthma can also recur in certain seasons (especially the rainy season), after inhalation of chemicals or fragrances, or after experiencing an upper respiratory tract infection.

2. Infection

Persistent Cough can also be caused by infections such as tuberculosis (TB), pneumonia, bronchitis, and whooping cough (pertussis).

3. Air pollution

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Exposure to air pollution around the home and work environment, generally in the form of chemicals or particles such as dust, mold, sulfur dioxide, and nitrate dioxide. In fact, clean air that is too dry or too cold can also trigger a cough.

4. Postnasal drip

Persistent Cough can occur due to excessive phlegm in the nose or sinus cavity, which accumulates in the back of the throat. This condition is called postnasal drip. Excessive phlegm is often caused by sinus infection.

5. Gastric acid disease (GERD)

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GERD occurs because stomach acid rises into the esophagus and irritates, causing coughing. On the other hand, a persistent cough that does not improve can aggravate stomach acid disease.

6. Blood pressure medications

Persistent Cough in some people can also be caused by the consumption of certain medical drugs, especially angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) that are commonly prescribed for patients with high blood pressure or heart failure.

7. Lung cancer

Generally a persistent cough caused by lung cancer is also accompanied by other symptoms, such as bleeding cough, chest pain, and weight loss that is not clear cause.

8. Heart failure

Heart failure can also be disguised as a lung disease with symptoms of persistent cough accompanied by shortness of breath. Typical symptoms of heart failure are tightness and coughing that becomes more severe when lying on your back, and swelling in certain body parts.

9. Chronic bronchitis

Inflammatory conditions in the lower respiratory tract that occur for a long time can cause a persistent cough accompanied by phlegm discharge. This condition called chronic bronchitis is common in active smokers who are often exposed to cigarette smoke. Chronic bronchitis is also a part of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a disease commonly suffered by heavy smokers.

Symptoms of persistent coughing

Depending on the underlying cause, a persistent cough can also be accompanied by other symptoms and signs, such as:

  1. Nasal congestion and runny
  2. Sore throat
  3. Shortness of breath and wheezing
  4. Hoarseness
  5. Headache, dizziness, and fainting
  6. Persistent chest pain
  7. Bleeding cough
  8. High fever and cold sweats at night
  9. Weight decreased dramatically

Symptoms of persistent cough and do not heal in a few weeks do need to watch out for. Generally, a persistent cough can improve after the underlying cause is treated.

And to ascertain the cause, further tests are needed by doctors, both through physical examination and supporting tests if needed, such as X-rays, CT scans, blood tests, sputum examinations, and lung function tests.

Treatment of Persistent Coughing

In addition to treating it the right way according to the cause, the following steps you can take to help relieve the symptoms of persistent cough:

  1. Expand the intake of fluids, especially warm drinks, such as water or tea. This is intended to thin the mucus that collects in the throat. Warm soup can be an option.
  2. Suction cough relievers to relieve throat irritation.
    If you suffer from stomach acid, it is recommended to avoid foods and drinks that cause stomach acid, such as spicy foods, sour, mint, chocolate, and caffeine.
  3. Avoid smoking and the environment of smokers, so that smoke does not settle in the lungs.
  4. Keep the air moist to help expedite the respiratory tract. If this is not possible, take a shower with warm water or breathe hot steam. You can also use a humidifier.
  5. Use nasal spray, or do nasal irrigation therapy with a salt solution (neti pot) to remove mucus and cleanse the nose. Make sure you read the rules of use and be careful using it, so as not to aggravate it

Do not ignore Persistent Cough that has lasted a long time, especially if accompanied by other symptoms. Immediately consult a doctor so that the cause can be traced and handled appropriately.

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