What’s Your Body Trying to Tell You?
A Chronic Cough
Most Likely CausesSomething is tickling your throat, and a cough is your body's reflexive way of trying to expel the irritant. It may be postnasal drainage from allergies, or you may have hyperactive nasal mucus membranes sending liquid down your throat. Acid reflux can also irritate the throat and trigger coughing.
Less Likely CausesAirway spasms are a side effect of some drugs, such as ACE inhibitors. Chronic obstructive lung disease (often due to smoking), pulmonary fibrosis (which involves scarring of the lungs), or a heart-valve problem can also produce coughing if fluid accumulates in the lungs.
What to do:
- Schedule a checkup and discuss any other symptoms you may have to help your doctor figure out what's going on. He will probably listen to your lungs and heart and may even order a chest X-ray. Treating the underlying condition should stop the cough.
Next: Muscle Cramps in Legs
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