What Causes a Cough and How do You Treat it?

what causes cough Bromsgrove & Stockton

A cough is rarely a sign of anything serious, considering it’s a reflex action to get rid of mucus and irritants like smoke and dust. Keep reading to discover what causes a cough in Bromsgrove & Stockton and how to treat it if it becomes persistent.

Most cases of coughs don’t require any treatment since they go away on their own within three weeks.

What causes a short-term cough in Bromsgrove & Stockton?

Below are the common causes of short-term coughs:

  • URTI (upper respiratory tract infection) that affects the sinuses, windpipe, or throat. Examples of these infections are flu, colds, sinusitis, laryngitis, or whooping cough.
  • LRTI (lower respiratory tract infection) which affects the lungs or lower airways. Examples of these are pneumonia and acute bronchitis.
  • Allergies such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis
  • A flare-up of a long-term complication such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or chronic bronchitis.
  • Inhaled smoke or dust.

In some rare cases, a short-term cough may be the first sign of a health complication that leads to persistent coughing.

what causes cough Bromsgrove & Stockton

What causes persistent coughs in Bromsgrove & Stockton?

Persistent coughs may be a result of:

  • A long-term respiratory tract infection like chronic bronchitis.
  • Asthma – this normally comes with other symptoms like chest tightness, shortness of breath, as well as wheezing.
  • An allergy.
  • A smoker’s cough can also be a result of COPD.
  • Bronchiectasis – this is a condition whereby the lungs become widened abnormally.
  • Postnasal drip – this condition involves mucus dripping from the back of the nose down to the throat as a result of conditions such as sinusitis or rhinitis.
  • GORD (gastro-esophagus efflux disease) This is a condition whereby the throat is irritated by leaking stomach acids.
  • As a side effect of a prescribed medicine such as an ACE inhibitor (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor) – used to treat cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

In most cough cases, the pharmacist won’t be looking whether it’s dry or chesty but will rather find out whether the phlegm you are producing is of a higher amount or darker than usual.

In some cases, a persistent cough may be a symptom of a more severe health complication, such as heart failure, tuberculosis, a pulmonary embolism, or lung cancer.

Check out our previous post on how to stay healthy and how to get a flu vaccine:

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What causes a cough in Bromsgrove & Stockton in children?

The causes of coughs in children are similar to the ones we’ve mentioned above, such as asthma, GORD, and respiratory tract infections. However, some causes are more common in children compared to adults. They include:

  • Bronchiolitis – a mild respiratory tract infection that normally leads to cold-like symptoms
  • Croup –  this leads to a harsh sound when breathing, referred to as stridor, and a certain barking cough
  • Whooping cough – watch out for symptoms like vomiting, intense coughing, as well as a ‘whoop’ sound with every sharp inhaling after a cough

Sometimes a persistent cough in children may signify a more serious long-term health complication like cystic fibrosis.

Dry cough refers to a cough that doesn’t release any thick mucus (phlegm), and it’s also tickly. A chesty cough means that the phlegm is released to clear your airways.

what causes cough Bromsgrove & Stockton

Talk to your pharmacist if:

  • You’ve had a cough for up to 3 weeks.
  • Your cough is severe and persistent
  • You cough up blood
  • You experience shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, or chest pain
  • The cough is accompanied by other worrying symptoms such as persistent voice change, unexplained weight loss, or lumps and swelling in the neck

You may be referred to a doctor by your pharmacist for further assessment if the cause of your cough is unclear. Other tests may also be required, such as allergy tests, chest X-rays, breathing tests, and analysis of samples of phlegm to detect the presence of any infections.

How do you treat a cough?

Most short-term coughs disappear on their own within a few weeks without necessarily using any treatment. Nevertheless, if the cough persists, you can visit Knights pharmacy today for treatment through the minor ailments service.

Knights Pharmacy Branch

You can also find your nearest branch to get in touch and book an appointment with us.

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This post was written on behalf of Knights Pharmacy by Pharmacy Mentor