Typically, chronic cough is a sign of asthma. Moreover, it is an example of a poorly controlled condition of this type. Apart through chronic coughing, asthma manifests through wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. However, there are cases where one's chronic cough is not triggered by asthma, but by some other condition. The lines below will provide you with all the information you need in order to understand the phenomenon of chronic coughing, especially during the night.
Causes of Chronic Cough
As soon as you are coughing all the time, your body is likely trying to expel harmful substances which are present within it. These substances can be infections, excessive mucus or some other, foreign materials. Coughing bouts may come and go. However, if your chronic coughing bothers you for more than 3 weeks, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Some of the most common triggers of chronic coughing is, as mentioned above, asthma. However, post nasal drip and GERD are both conditions which can lead to the same symptoms. Alternatively, chronic coughing can be a sign of pneumonia, pertrusis or chronic bronchitis, even though these cases are less common. Finally, COPD and/or sinusitis are both possible culprits of your coughing problems.
When the chronic cough affects a person at night predominantly, asthma is the usual suspect. However, asthma can be made worse by viral or bacterial infections taking place in your body. Thus, it is very important to pay attention to the symptoms following your chronic cough. Asthma usually goes hand-in-hand with wheezing, chest pain and shortness of breath. Nevertheless, if you suspect asthma you should pay your doctor a visit and undergo the standard asthma tests.
Treatment of Chronic Cough
In order to make a precise diagnosis, your doctor is likely to look into your medical history and ask you numerous questions about your health and the medications you are currently taking. Also, you may have to undergo X-ray or spirometry tests. If asthma is the main cause of your coughing problems, your doctor will start the treatment for this condition.
Medications and inhaled steroids are all part of the standard asthma treatment. You may be treated with Aerobid, Alvesco, Asmanex, Azmacort, Flovent, Pulmicort or Qvar. Additionally, if your chronic cough has acute symptoms, your doctor will need to treat them with inhalers like Albuterol, Proventil, Ventolin, Xopenex or Maxair.
When To Seek Medical Assistance?
As it was mentioned above, if your chronic cough remains present for more than 3 weeks, you are advised to react. Also, if your chronic cough is interfering with your regular sleeping patterns, keeping you awake at night, it is high time you contacted your doctor. Painful or bloody coughing is a sign of emergency as well. Finally, seek medical assistance if you tend to pass out during your coughing sprees.