What’s Causing Your Cough Symptoms? Find Answers & Relief in Waltham, MA
Everybody coughs. While it can be a bit of an annoyance, coughing is usually nothing to worry about. In fact, by ousting mucus and irritants from your respiratory tract, your cough is helping to protect your lungs from infection. That’s why many illnesses, including the common cold, flu, COVID-19, bronchitis, and hay fever, are accompanied by coughing, a natural reflex that usually stops within a week or so.
Persistent cough symptoms, on the other hand, can linger for several months or even years. Constant coughing can have serious consequences, including sleep disruption, exhaustion, impaired concentration, and reduced productivity. If you’re tired of hacking away, the experienced team at PhysicianOne Urgent Care in Waltham, Massachusetts, can figure out what’s going and help you feel better. Some common causes of chronic coughing include:
If you smoke, quit! Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of chronic coughing in smokers. With every puff, you inhale a cocktail of toxic chemicals into your lungs, where they settle and cause damaging inflammation. Your cough is your body’s attempt to clear these harmful substances from your lungs.
Your nose is the gateway to your respiratory tract, conditioning the air you breathe before it reaches your sensitive lungs. More specifically, your nasal passages produce mucus, a sticky fluid that traps particles in dirty air, moisturizes dry air, and warms cool air. In the process, your nasal membranes can sometimes become irritated, producing excess mucus that drips down your throat and triggers a nagging cough.
Asthma results from bronchospasm, a temporary narrowing of the tubes that carry air into your lungs. Although the most common symptoms of bronchospasm are wheezing and breathlessness, it can also cause a dry cough that worsens with exposure to cold air, dust, or allergens.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD occurs when the contents of your stomach head in the wrong direction, traveling upward toward your esophagus. While heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, you may develop a cough as well if the nerve endings in your lower esophagus become irritated.
Getting to the Bottom of Your Persistent Cough
While a chronic cough is not a reason to panic, you shouldn’t ignore it, either. Come to PhysicianOne Urgent Care in Waltham, where we can determine the cause of your cough symptoms and help you address the issue with appropriate treatment.