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A chronic cough: All you need to know

About


Running nose and sore throat causing loss of sleep and heartburn.


1 out of 10 live with this condition. [1]


- Females are more prone to a chronic cough than men. The reason behind this is still unclear.
- Chronic cough needs medical attention and cannot be treated by self-care.
- Doctors can diagnose chronic coughs by asking a few questions. So no lab testing is required.
- As the name suggests, chronic cough is a continuous problem and becomes chronic with the passage of time.
A cough that lasts for eight weeks or more is mostly called as a chronic cough. In case of children, four weeks or more can be considered as a chronic cough. Severe cases cause vomiting, lightheadedness, or rib fractures. A chronic cough often has a treatable cause.


Ages affected - between 20 and 30 - Often; between 30 and 40 - more often; 40 and above - most often.


Symptoms


Self-diagnosable


This condition cannot be self-diagnosed. Only a medical expert can diagnose your problem.


People may experience


1) A runny or stuffy nose.
2) A sore throat
3) Hoarseness
4) Heartburn or a sour taste in the mouth.
5) Loss of sleep
6) Coughing up blood in severe cases


Treatment


Self-care through home remedies:


1) Drink lots of water or juice. This will loosen and thin the mucus. Warm liquids such as tea can soothe the throat.
2) Use a saline nose spray.
3) Suck on cough drops or hard candies. They may ease a dry cough and soothe an irritated throat.
Medications:
Determining the cause of a cough is essential for effective treatment. Medications prescribed by a doctor include:


1. Antibiotics: if the cause is a bacterial infection, the doctor advises antibiotics.
2. Acid blockers: these are required to block acid production or to neutralize them. These are antacids, H2 receptor blockers, proton pump inhibitors.
3. Cough suppressants: if the reason is not clarified and it is leading toward serious issues such as sleep loss, cough suppressants are prescribed.
4. Postnasal drip: decongestants dry up secretions. Antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays can restrict the allergic response that causes mucus production, reduces swelling in nasal passages.


Specialists: Visit your doctor if a cough lasts for weeks that brings up blood and disturbs sleep and daily routine. To know more visit us at mfine.

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