Why Do Coughs Always Linger?

Charlotte Miller

Updated on:

Do you ever experience cough signs and symptoms that seem to stick around even after you feel as though you’ve recovered from an illness? If so, you may have experienced what it’s like to deal with a lingering cough. Certain sicknesses, such as colds, the flu, bronchitis and more, can sometimes leave behind a cough that sometimes feels as though it just won’t go away, even if you’ve continued to take medicine as directed by your doctor. While you may not be able to make a lingering cough disappear overnight, you can help calm it by learning more about why this phenomenon sometimes occurs, what treatments are available and what steps you could take to treat it without having to leave home.

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Causes & Treatments

Just as there are many different types of coughs out there, so too are there many potential causes for those coughs. Although the most common reason for a lingering cough may be persistent cold symptoms, other potential root causes could include:

  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Nasal drip
  • Asthma
  • Post-viral infection
  • Certain diseases such as bronchitis and whooping cough
  • Environmental allergens

If you find yourself suffering from a cough that won’t go away, you may wish to try some home solutions to help ease the symptoms. For instance, ask your doctor whether it would be helpful to try:

  • Gargling salt water multiple times a day
  • Steaming your face or using a humidifier to clear your throat
  • Using an expectorant to get rid of mucus clogging your throat
  • Drinking plenty of warm liquids to soothe the cough
  • Taking an antihistamine or over-the-counter cough medications

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Taking A Holistic Approach

When left untreated, lingering coughs can eventually begin to have a negative effect on everyday life. That’s why you may want to consider taking a holistic approach to solve this problem. Remember to:

  • Watch out for potential warning signs that your cough may be more than just a cough, such as a sudden change in the nature of your cough, coughing up blood along with mucus or experiencing a cough that lingers for an abnormally long time
  • Try a range of homeopathic remedies to help treat your cough but consider keeping traditional medicines such as cough control medicine in your cabinet as well just in case
  • Visit your doctor if you suspect that your cough is a sign of a more serious condition, such as a lung condition or certain cancers
  • Remember to look out for your overall well-being every day and support a strong immune system, which can in turn reduce the amount of time your cough may linger

Whether you’ve had to deal with a lingering cough yourself in the past or whether you just want to educate yourself about this health phenomenon, persistent coughs can result from a variety of diseases and can eventually impact your quality of life if left unaddressed. Fortunately, finding the right treatments, identifying the causes and, in some cases, taking a holistic approach can help resolve the issue. Now that you understand why coughs may linger even after you’ve recovered from an illness, you’ll be well prepared to combat the problem should it arise in the future.