Any cough that lasts longer than eight weeks in an adult or four weeks in a child is considered chronic. These long-lasting coughs are more than just an inconvenience; they can become a major disruption in your daily life. The source of your cough could be anything from acid reflux to allergens in the Lakewood Ranch, Florida, air. Getting to the root of your chronic cough is crucial so that you can get some much-needed relief.
The Cough Outlasts the Cold
A cough often comes along with a cold or flu bug. In the early stages, you may experience all the typical symptoms of these illnesses, including a stuffy nose, headache, or fever. After a few days, however, the worst of the symptoms should abate. This leaves you with nothing but a lingering cough that you can’t seem to shake.
The reason the cough hangs on for so long is that your airways have become irritated and increasingly sensitive. Your continuing cough does nothing to ease the delicate, swollen area. The cough can take much longer to heal, often lasting for weeks after your cold has gone away.
Asthma and Allergies Could be To Blame
If you suffer from asthma or allergies, your health condition may be at the root of your cough. Your cough will persist as long as the irritant is in the air. This is one case where you can often eliminate your cough medication simply by making a few smart changes to your environment. If possible, identify the source of your irritation. Is your cough worse in a particular part of the home? You may find that a bedroom with uncontrolled dust mites is triggering your asthma, or a mold growth in the bathroom is making your allergies worse.
Clean your home thoroughly to eliminate dust, dander, mold, and mildew as much as possible. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to pull these irritants from the air. Take steps to keep things clean by replacing the air filter in your HVAC system, encasing mattresses and pillows in dust-proof covers, and ditching your rugs for bare floors.
Other Conditions Can Cause a Cough
Most people associate a cough with respiratory issues. However, your cough may also come from a seemingly unrelated condition. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition where stomach acid flows back into the throat. This is usually associated with heartburn and a sore throat, but coughing could also be to blame.
Do you take medication for high blood pressure? Though you probably wouldn’t make the association, some angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors used to lower blood pressure cause an ongoing cough. Speak to your doctor if you’re having trouble pinpointing the source of your cough to see if a seemingly unlikely culprit is to blame.
A Whole-House Air Cleaner May Help
Regardless of the source, most coughs are made worse by irritants in the air. If you or someone in your home regularly suffers from an ongoing cough, consider installing a whole-house air cleaner in your HVAC system. This will provide an added level of filtration, so you can breathe easier under any conditions. The right air purifier, cleaner, filter, or UV lamp can dramatically improve your indoor air for a new level of comfort and potential relief from that ongoing cough.
Lifestyle Changes Help You Heal
If you’re battling a chronic cough, you should speak to a doctor about the problem to rule out serious causes. However, if your physician can’t prescribe anything but time to heal the issue, there are things you can do to speed up the process. Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep a night and do what you can to minimize stress. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages that dehydrate you, and focus on drinking more water to loosen mucus in the airways and speed your recovery.
If you want to improve the air quality in your home to help with your chronic cough, contact Aqua Plumbing and Air at (941) 306-3715. We can help you pinpoint the right solution for your needs.
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