Why do we hold onto coughs for a long time? I got bronchitis almost 2 months ago, and I’m still coughing up a storm. I keep taking cough syrup and drinking lemon, peppermint, and honey teas, yet still can barely get enough sleep in the night since I’m hacking up a lung all night long. Why am I still coughing when I am taking measures to cure it?
There are a lot of reasons why you may still be coughing even after you have taken measures to cure it. I went to a doctor in September to quell my coughing, and it turned out I have asthmatic symptoms. In fact, more adults have asthma than we even realize, and 7.3% of adults are walking around with asthmatic symptoms (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath) without even realizing it or being diagnosed. A persistent cough that just won’t leave may be a sign of asthma. Cough-variant asthma is often related to a cough that persists for more than 8 weeks.
Post nasal drip from a cold or cough that you are getting over can contribute to a chronic cough as well. A chronic cough is a cough that lasts 8 weeks or more, regardless of cough medicines, cold and flu medicines, and preventative measures. Post nasal drip is where your body excretes a sticky mucus that sticks to the back of your throat, urging you to cough relentlessly. It could be the reason you can’t seem to stop coughing all the time.
It could be pertussis, or “whooping cough”, which often goes undetected in adults because adults tend to just cough a lot rather than have the barking sound that children have. A lack of immunizations keeps bringing the whooping cough back, so if you are coughing for longer than a few weeks, and it isn’t being combated no matter how much cough syrup you take, pertussis may be to blame.
If you’ve had bronchitis, even after taking antibiotics and cough remedies to cure it, you may cough for many weeks afterward simply due to the infection and healing inflammation in your bronchial tubes. Often, even after you’ve “cured” bronchitis symptoms by going to the doctor with your chronic coughing, you can cough for weeks or months after wards, particularly if you smoke.
Regardless of what is causing you to continue coughing, if you have a cough that is lasting more than a few weeks, and if you’ve exhausted many bottles of cough syrup (not to be taken more than 7 days at a time), it’s time to see a doctor for your symptoms. A chronic cough can be an indicator of something more serious than just a cold that won’t go away, and seeing a doctor can help rule out other illnesses, like asthma, bronchitis, pertussis, and even bacterial pneumonia. Even if it’s just an annoying cough, if you can’t get rid of it, you may have something else that needs more medical attention than the ineffective cough syrup you are taking.
personal experience with a persistent cough
my personal doctor