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Coughing is a common problem of the respiratory tract and often indicates a deeper problem. It can be very irritating and can affect eating habits and socialization. A cough which persists for more than 4 weeks is believed to be chronic in nature. Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common cause of chronic cough in India. TB is an airborne bacterial infection caused by the organism, 'Mycobacterium tuberculosis', that primarily affects the lungs, although other organs and tissues may be involved. Cardinal features are:
- Chronic cough with or without sputum.
- Fever more in the night time.
- Poor appetite.
- Unintentional weight loss.
Read on to know about other common causes of chronic cough and how to manage them.
- Allergies: People with allergies usually have a chronic cough, which gets aggravated when exposed to the allergens such as pollen or environmental dust. Staying away from allergen provides relief. Antihistamines are also useful, which most people detected with allergies keep in handy. Inhalers might be required, if there is associated congestion or shortness of breath.
- Asthma: This is a very common chronic condition, caused by inflammation and swelling of the lungs, in addition to wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma patients often suffer from a chronic cough. An asthma attack usually happens during the night or early morning, and is triggered by colds, cigarette smoke, air pollutants or allergens, which can even include certain foods. Most asthmatics usually carry their steroids, inhalers, and bronchodilators, as the onset of attack can be unpredictable.
- Bronchitis: This condition of inflammation of the bronchial region is very common among smokers and among the elderly. There is excessive mucus accumulation, which the body tries to clear via coughing. The lungs are weakened and therefore, the coughing is painful.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): This is a problem of the digestive system, but regurgitation of food into the airway induces cough. GERD is a chronic issue and so most people also end up with a chronic cough. It is worse with sitting up than with sitting down. Treatment includes H2 blockers to suppress acid production and dietary changes including small, frequent meals and avoiding spicy food items.
- Upper airway cough syndrome: There could be multiple problems in the upper airway, which leads to a constant postnasal drip. Here, there is constant dripping of the sputum into the air passage, which can lead to a chronic cough whenever there is impaired air flow. This can be caused by various forms of chronic sinusitis and rhinitis. People diagnosed with this condition usually resort to antihistamines and decongestants for relief.
- Other causes: There are a number of other causes as noted below. Smoking, tuberculosis, congestive heart failure, pertussis or whooping cough, foreign body in the airway, cancer in the airway passage, chronic aspiration of foods, etc. can all lead to chronic cough.
The key is to identify the reason that is causing the chronic cough. Most people who are diagnosed are educated to handle it and carry the required medications including steroids, bronchodilators, and inhalers. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Sir my daughter age is 12 year, she taking food & fruits normally qty, that to be we are forcing. We are using tonics for her hungry but food taking normally please give suggests me.
My daughter is 7 year old. She is weight is only 15 kg and hemoglobin parentage is 8 and she is not interested to eat foot like roti, sabji, milk, etc except pizza, chaumin, potato, dal and sometime she eat good smelling things like shops, rubber, wax color, incense sticks so please help me for this case.
I have not had chicken pox till date. Have a 2.5 month old baby. Can I take the vaccination now or should I wait till his vaccination due date?
My daughter is 36 days old ND she didn't had motion (potty) since last 48 hrs ND she is very restless (crying a lot) please suggest what to do?
As i am potts spine tuberculosis patient and doctor not allowed me to breastfeed my 7month old baby so my baby is on lactogen 2formula please suggest me some best formula milk and some formula cereal or food for my baby. I really cannot breastfeed my baby because of my disease I just feed her till 6months.
My baby running 10th month still not coning tooth please clear my doubt any problem in my baby. Please advise.
My baby is 9 months old and suffering from common cold and cough. Can I use ascoril ls drops for cough.
My child is 7 years. He is very shy when we are there and he doesn't want to talk with elders in front of us. Please tell me how to deal with him ?
I am suffering from chronic insomnia associated with ADHD. I lack concentration in almost everything. If someone is discussing a topic or if a teacher is explaining something I can't understand anything. Also I am unable to sleep from past 6 months. How can this be cured? Is it due to some chemical imbalance?
My baby s premature one 10 months old he fallen down hit his head left side it became has bump it feels so soft like tomato when I called my doctor he recommended plain crocin 5ml three times a day should I need to check day one he felt pain now he doesn't feel pain please suggest. Me.
The tiny tots must use a toothbrush with a small rounded brush head and soft bristles. It helps in cleaning their milk teeth thoroughly.