There are many different factors that cause coughs. Some of these factors are relatively harmless, while others may be a cause to seek medical attention. Regardless of the explanation, a cough can be extremely irritating, and if it has been lingering for a while it might be time to figure out the exact cause. At AFC Urgent Care Danbury, we’re here to help you figure out exactly why you can’t get rid of that cough.
Why you can’t get rid of your cough
It could be a number of reasons. If you’re experiencing:
1. A lingering cough after cold and flu:
Have you been plagued by the flu or a cold this winter season? Your cough could simply be an unwanted reminder of the cold and flu season, and not something to cause alarm. As good as it may be to hear that your cough is not of a serious nature, it’s lingering effects can be extremely annoying.
Give it time! Sometimes, a cough can last weeks or even months after the virus is gone. Over time your airways will heal and the cough will stop. In the mean time, try the occasional cough drop, or warm tea to help sooth the throat and prevent any further irritation.
2. A cough from dehydration:
When you are dehydrated, the lining of your airways and sinuses become dry and prone to irritation. This dryness and irritation can result in the reflex to cough.
By staying properly hydrated, we can thin out the mucus that drips down the back of our throats, and stop the need to cough. Drink water, tea, hot soup broth, and avoid caffeine, and alcohol as they may dehydrate you further.
3. A cough from dry air:
Sometimes, our cough is not caused by lingering illness, or a precursor to something more severe, but instead is because of an outside irritant. Dryness in the air can irritate our air passages and not allow the mucus that builds at the back of our throat to break down, causing us to cough.
The steam created in the shower will effectively loosen, or break up the congestion in your nasal passages and relieve the pressure that causes you cough. You may also want to consider purchasing a humidifier for your home.
4. A cough from Acid Reflux:
While most people experience occasional acid reflux, some people may develop a more serious form of acid problems. As indigestion and acid reflux are causes of a lingering cough, be aware that if your cough is coupled with chest pain your body may have developed GERD.
It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor in the matter of chest pain, if nothing else, but to put your mind at ease.
5. Allergy or Asthma induced cough:
If you inhale a substance (like mold) that triggers your allergy or asthma, your body’s natural reaction is to dispel the offending substance through a cough. Shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and frequent coughs point to asthma, especially if you’re getting the worst of your symptoms at night or after exercise.
In the case of allergies, try to eliminate irritants and triggers from your environment as much as possible. It may also be advisable to talk to a doctor about a mild allergy medication for those triggers that cannot be fully eliminated. In the case of asthma, this can be a potentially serious situation, and should be discussed with a medical professional.
My cough still wont go away:
The vast majority of coughs will clear up on their own within a few weeks; however, if the cough persists longer than three weeks, is really severe or gets progressively worse, you should seek medical attention right away. If you are coughing up thick mucus or experiencing other symptoms such as fever, chills, coughing up blood, or fatigue please come into urgent care or contact your doctor immediately.
If your cough simply won’t go away, we are here for you. Please visit us at any of our 3 Danbury walk in urgent care centers: 2 Main Street, 100 Mill Plain Road or our newest center, 76 Newtown Road, 7 days a week. We can help. Walk-ins welcome!