Chronic cough is not a disease, but it is actually a symptom of other diseases. Cough is a normal reaction of our bodies and the body needs it to clear airways of mucus, and to remove the potentially dangerous particles such as dust, for example. The problem arises if the cough becomes chronic. Chronic cough is persistent and frequent.
Causes of persistent cough
It is typical that persistent and chronic cough occurs in smokers. And even when smokers stop smoking, cough disappears within one or two months after the quitting smoking. The most common cause of cough is the flu, though in children the most common cause of persistent cough is a viral infection. A type of cough popularly known as whooping cough often occurs in infants due to vaccination.
Asthma is a disease accompanied by chronic cough and it is a respiratory disease in fact. Most often it is characterized by hard or difficult breathing, and chronic cough in this case in some patients only occurs as a symptom. A contaminated air can cause asthma, but also smoke, perfumes and pollen as well. Chronic cough may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is characterized by the return of gastric acid back to the esophagus. Because of that, spasm of the airways occurs, which leads to persistent cough. Furthermore, in some cases a sense of heartburn can produce a symptom of persistent cough. The problem with the sinuses can cause also chronic cough in a person who is ill. However, this condition is difficult to detect because patients often complain of tingling and tickling in the throat, which is actually just caused by a persistent cough.
Some infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, may lead to persistent cough and these lung infections may be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi. Viral infections are not treated with antibiotics. When it comes to asthma, even though viral upper respiratory tract infection has cleared up, persistent cough mat remain for a long time. Some drugs used in treating high blood pressure can cause a chronic cough, such as inhibitors enalapril and captopril. Rarely, the cause of prolonged and persistent cough is tumor or other forms of lung disease. Besides these, the causes may be wheezing, allergies, gastric reflexes, exposure to harmful gases, especially exposure to tobacco smoke.
Persistent cough may be the cause of serious diseases like cancer, tuberculosis shallower and lung fibrosis. The most important thing is to tell the doctor if the cough is frequent, chronic and dry.