Back Up: Why Do We Cough Anyway
Coughing is a natural response to irritation in your throat or airways. To put it simply, receptors in the throat, trachea, and lungs respond and lead to activation of the cough center in the brain, explains Clifford Bassett, M.D., founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.
Coughing is an essential defense mechanism, he says, and its your bodys way of pushing any unwanted stuff out, including pollen, mucus, and pieces of food, to make more room for air to get through.
Allergy Cough Treatment: How To Stop Coughing From Allergies
A chronic cough caused by allergies can impact your health in many ways. It can impact sleep quality, it can make you self-conscious, it can also impact you socially .
So what should you do to treat a cough caused by allergies? The first step is to try and identify your allergy. If youre not sure what your allergies are, you can start with these tips:
Start by writing a seasonal calendar and thinking about when you experience symptoms. Are they year-round or at certain times of the year?
For 1 week, take notes in an allergy journal. Write down when youre experiencing the cough most. Mornings or nights?
If you know youre allergic to dust mites you can do a few easy things before you visit an allergist. These DIY fixes dont cost a lot of money and can be done within a few days.
Is there a lot of dust in your home? If so, Clean!
Do you have dust mite protectors on your pillow and mattress?
Have you ever tried a HEPA air purifier for allergies? These work great in the bedroom
Do you have carpeting or many rugs in the house? These trap dust and provide hiding places for dust mites
Do you keep pets in the house? Pets provide plenty of dander and hair dust mite food!
Supplements and vitamins can reduce inflammation and the allergic response they are natural!
Have you tried taking a daily antihistamine? Take an antihistamine for a week and monitor your chronic cough. I prefer Allegra non-drowsy.
And its the closest thing to a cure.
Do I Ever Need To Worry About A Cough
Something important to remember: A coughno matter its causeshouldnt be your norm.
Colds usually run their course within a couple of weeks, which means a cough associated with a cold should go away in about three weeks time , according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The length of an allergy-related cough will vary depending on how you’re treating it.
But if you notice youre still barking after two months of symptoms, see your doc. You could either be dealing with an allergy youre not aware of or potentially suffering from another issue such as asthma , reflux, pneumonia, or bronchitis, says Dr. Bryson.
And if something is bothering you enough to disrupt your life, don’t put off getting it checked out. If nothing else, seeing a doc will give you peace of mind and maybe even speed up your recovery time.
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How Do Allergy And Covid
Some of the most common allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, congestion or runny nose. Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever and chills, muscle and body aches, loss of taste or small, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms in which both allergies and COVID-19 can have in common include cough, fatigue, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, congestion or runny nose.
“While allergy sufferers may have difficulty breathing due to congestion, allergy sufferers without asthma typically won’t have shortness of breath, nor will they have a fever,” says Dr. Barnes. “They also usually experience facial pressure rather than a headache.”
What Is Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is the medical term for hay fever or allergies. You have an allergy when your body overreacts to things that dont cause problems for most people. These things are called allergens. Your bodys overreaction to the allergens is what causes symptoms.
There are 2 forms of allergic rhinitis:
- Seasonal : Caused by an allergy to pollen and/or mold spores in the air. Pollen is the fine powder that comes from flowering plants. It can be carried through the air and is easily inhaled. Symptoms are seasonal and usually occur in spring, late summer, and fall.
- Perennial: Caused by other allergens such as dust mites, pet hair or dander, or mold. Symptoms occur year-round.
Hay fever is the most common form of allergy. Symptoms of hay fever are seasonal. You will feel worse when the pollens that affect you are at their highest levels.
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How To Tell If Allergic Rhinitis Is Causing Your Cough
Unfortunately, coughing can be caused by many things other than allergic rhinitis which makes it difficult to determine whats at the root of the problem. A cold or flu for example, may result in a cough thats not too dissimilar from the type caused by allergic rhinitis.
If you are worried about your cough its best to visit your doctor to get checked out. However, in the meantime, to help you figure out if allergic rhinitis is the cause of your cough, here are a few things to consider.
Duration a cough that is the result of a cold or flu does not usually last much longer than two weeks so if yours goes on for longer than this, it could be allergic rhinitis thats behind it.
Relief anti-histamines can be obtained from a doctor or pharmacist and are used to treat allergic rhinitis. Therefore, if your cough subsides after taking this medication it can indicate that allergic rhinitis was the cause.
Severity an unrelenting cough may also be associated with allergic rhinitis.
Other symptoms as mentioned, there are a variety of symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis so if you experience things like congestion, itching, watery eyes and fatigue alongside your cough then allergic rhinitis may be at the root of the problem.
What Can You Do
Drink warm lemon and honey this is a tried and tested cough remedy for good reason as the warm liquid helps to soothe the throat and rid it of irritation.
Help out your immune system the immune system is put under a great deal of strain when its busy fighting off allergens so its a good idea to help it out as best you can. You may want to take some Echinaforce Echinacea Drops for example, which support the immune system.
Stay hydrated water helps to wash out any allergens that are lurking in the throat and which are therefore causing a cough. However, it also stops your throat from getting dry and irritated which would worsen a cough.
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How To Stop Constant Coughing From Allergies
Indoor or outdoor, seasonal or year-round, all types of allergies can potentially cause constant coughing. Along with a runny nose, sneezing and watery and itchy eyes, allergic cough can be disruptive and annoying. Coughing associated with allergies is often caused by postnasal drip, when mucus from your nose runs down the back of the throat. Allergic asthma may also cause persistent coughing 2. With this type of asthma, symptoms are triggered by exposure to allergens, such as pollen, dust mites and mold spores.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Itchy Red Or Watery Eyes
Being allergic to dust and dust mites can also cause you to have itchy, red or watery eyes.
This is another natural defense your body conducts when it reacts to something sensitive in the environment.
When dust particles come into contact with mast cells on the eyes, the response is to release histamine and other chemicals that cause blood vessels to leak, which makes your eyes red, watery and itchy.
Unfortunately, these dust allergies symptoms are shared with other eye diseases and cold viruses.
Trying to diagnose an allergy to dust off of this one sign alone is not feasible.
However, if youre noticing it alongside symptoms #1 and #2, it just may likely be caused by an allergic reaction to dust .
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Living With Allergic Rhinitis
Living with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis can affect your daily life. Nasal symptoms can be worse when lying down. This can disturb your ability to sleep well. Fatigue and headaches can affect your ability to function at school and work. There are many medicines and treatments that can help you manage your symptoms. Talk to your doctor as soon as you feel that your symptoms are getting worse or are not easy to control. He or she can help you come up with the right plan to control them so they dont affect your ability to live your normal life.
Perennial Hay Fever Allergens
Allergens often associated with perennial hay fever include:
- pet dander
- the excrement, saliva, and shells of dust mites
- spores from indoor mold and fungus
- chemical irritants in cleaning products, such as laundry detergents
- chemicals found in scented products, especially sprays and aerosol products
- off-gasses from materials such as rubber, canvas, and leather
- air pollution, such as car exhaust
Also, the excrement, saliva, and shells of cockroaches are highly common allergens. An estimated 63 percent of households in the United States contain cockroach allergens. In urban areas, the rates can reach 98 percent.
A 2015 study found that roughly 18 percent of children aged under 17 in the U.S. have been diagnosed with hay fever, especially in southwestern and southeastern states.
If a primary care doctor suspects that a person has hay fever, they will usually refer the person to an allergist, a doctor who specializes in allergies.
An allergist will ask questions about lifestyle habits, home and work environments, medical history, and symptoms, then perform a physical exam of the nose and throat.
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What Other Symptoms Might You Have If You Have A Chronic Cough
Some symptoms can be more common and less likely to be serious, such as:
- A runny or stuffy nose.
- Post-nasal drip .
- Wheezing or shortness of breath.
- Sore throat or frequent throat clearing.
- Fever .
Other symptoms might be more serious, such as:
- Weight loss without any effort.
- Coughing up phlegm or blood.
- A hoarse voice that does not go away.
- A drenching overnight sweat.
Treat Post Nasal Drip To Cure Cough
1. Wipe Out Allergens
Allergens like dust, pollen, dander, as well as mold in your environment can cause nasal cavity irritability which often leads to post nasal drip, cough and other discomforts.
- Dander causes irritation that leads to post nasal drip. Bathe your pets regularly to get rid of it. Dont wait until post nasal drip and the cough is severe.
- Unused pillows and mattresses should be covered and kept clean. Your pillows and beddings must be changed regularly to avoid the accumulation of dust.
- Get rid of your plants inside the house, both non-flowering or flowering. Plants can cause allergic reactions such as coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, etc. For example, if you are allergic to pollens, you will certainly suffer allergy attack when encountering them. To avoid this, keep away from grass, plants and trees.
- Use a humidifier to moisten your house to help remove allergens out of the air and prevent or relieve symptoms of post nasal drip like cough.
2. Drink Enough Water
Hydration is one of the best solutions to avoid symptoms of post nasal drip . So drink lots of clear water, about 8-9 glasses per day to stay hydrated. You must avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks as these causes dehydration.
3. Get Rid of Excess Mucus Naturally
4. Take Medications
If home remedies fail to work, you can take certain medications to cure the cough.
- OTC Decongestant
- Mucus-thinning medications
- Prescription drugs
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The Difference In Duration Of Symptoms
Typically, a cold lasts for around seven to 10 days, with the most severe symptoms beginning to improve after a few days. Allergies, however, if left untreated, will cause symptoms for as long as the allergen is present. So, if your cough doesnt start to get better after a week, your symptoms may not be caused by a cold.
Asthma, on the other hand, can come and go quickly. Attacks may come on suddenly and subside quickly. Mild episodes may last for minutes, but more serious attacks can last for days.
When Should I Seek Medical Advice To Determine If I May Have Covid
- Your allergies are not improving after taking over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops and/or allergy prescriptions after three to four days and your symptoms appear to be getting worse
- You have developed additional symptoms such as a significant headache, fever, cough, decreased sense of taste or smell or gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
- You are experiencing allergy and /or COVID-19-like symptoms and you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19
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The Top 8 Symptoms Of Dust Allergies
Do you think that you may be experiencing symptoms of dust allergies?
Or could it be something else?
Unfortunately, some of the signs of a dust allergy, like sneezing, coughing and a runny nose, are similar to sicknesses such as the common cold.
What may seem to be dust allergy symptoms may actually be a cold and vice versus.
But, how do you know for sure?
Dust allergies can range from mild to severe.
In a mild case, you may experience an occasional outbreak of the symptoms below, while in a severe condition you might notice chronic, ongoing problems.
In this article, well share with you eight of the most common signs that are associated with allergies related to dust and dust mites.
Hopefully, this information will clue you in to whats really going on with your health.
Note: If symptoms such as wheezing or nasal congestion are severe, you should call your doctor. If shortness of breath or wheezing quickly gets worse, seek emergency care. The information provided in this article should not substitute for professional care.
What Causes Allergic Rhinitis
You have an allergy when your body overreacts to things that dont cause problems for most people. These things are called allergens. If you have allergies, your body releases chemicals when you are exposed to an allergen. One such chemical is called histamine. Histamine is your bodys defense against the allergen. The release of histamine causes your symptoms.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen comes from flowering trees, grass, and weeds. If you are allergic to pollen, you will notice your symptoms are worse on hot, dry days when wind carries the pollen. On rainy days, pollen often is washed to the ground, which means you are less likely to breathe it.
- Allergies that occur in the spring are often due to tree pollen.
- Allergies that occur in the summer are often due to grass and weed pollen.
- Allergies that occur in the fall are often due to ragweed.
Allergens that can cause perennial allergic rhinitis include:
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Seasonal Hay Fever Allergens
Common allergens associated with seasonal hay fever include:
- Grass pollen: Some species are more likely to cause reactions, such as ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, Timothy grass, and Bermuda grass.
- Tree pollen: Pollen from species such as mountain cedar, oak, mulberry, maple, western red cedar, and elm can often cause allergies.
- Flower pollen: Ragweed, dandelion and devils paintbrush pollen is often allergenic, as is that of species without obvious flowers, such as lambs quarters.
- Pollen from flowering bushes, trees, and shrubs: These can include sagebrush and English plantain.
Fungal and mold spores are also allergens that can lead to hay fever.
What Can You Do To Treat It
That depends on the cause. Options include:
- Medicines. Over-the-counter cough remedies can help in a number of ways. Suppressants lessen your urge to cough. Expectorants thin mucus and make it easier to hack up.
- Home remedies. You can drink warm fluids, inhale warm, moist air, and use cough drops. Add a spoonful of honey to hot tea, or choose a cough drop that has it. Never give honey to a child under a year old — it can make them very sick.
- Avoid triggers. If you have allergies or asthma, remove allergens from your home. Keep pets out of your bedroom. Use air conditioners to filter air during pollen season. You wonât see the effects right away, but if you stay away from what bothers you, you’ll start to feel better.
- Treatment for another problem. Coughs triggered by asthma, acid reflux, COPD, and other medical conditions need special treatment — often medicine. Talk to your doctor.
- Time. Common viruses are the most likely causes. Sometimes, the cough can last weeks or months after the virus is gone. Over time your airways will heal and the cough will stop.
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Why Are Dust Mites And Chronic Cough Related
Unlike most allergens, dust mites are a year-round allergy. When people experience pollen allergy, they usually have symptoms for a few weeks to a few months per year. A seasonal allergy makes symptoms easier to understand.
Dust mites live in our homes where they live and reproduce all year. They can cause allergy symptoms to remain constant all year.
The problem with dust mites is 1) we can see them and as a result 2,) people arent aware of them.
I grew up with dust mite allergy but I had no idea what they were. It wasnt until years later when I was tested for allergies, did I learn about dust mites.
My ignorance in my early life made me ignore the obvious symptoms. And since my symptoms were constant, I figured it was my normal and not an allergy.
In high school, I began to experience a tickle in my throat. I would clear my throat and the irritation would disappear. It happened again and again. Gradually the throat clearing occurred every few minutes.
It developed so slowly that I even realize I was doing it! Eventually, someone asked why I kept clearing my throat, then another person asked. Reality set in and I knew I had to get help.