What can i do to stop coughing from allergies
«The purpose of a cough is to assist us,» says Monica Lee, MD, an otolaryngologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. It’s your body’s way of trying to expel something it perceives as a threat in the airway, she says.
Those perceived threats can be a bunch of diverse things: a piece of food stuck in your throat, pollen, air pollution, or swelling or drainage from additional mucus in your throat. Every those things irritate the sensory fibers in your airway, which then stimulate a cough.
As for what exactly happens in your body during a cough?
It’s helpful of complicated, says Dr. Lee. Basically, your vocal chords shut briefly to generate pressure in the lungs. Once enough pressure is built up, your vocal chords open back up, and air flows quickly through your voice box, which generates that coughing sound. Kinda cool, huh?
How do I know my cough is from a cold?
You know how allergy coughs are typically on the drier side? Coughs from colds (or the flu) tend to be on the wetter side (that «wetness» is actually mucus your body is trying to move out of your body, says Dr. Lee).
Coughs that come along with a freezing generally come along with stuffiness, along with postnasal drip (a.k.a., mucus running below the back of your throat), which can cause a sore throat or chest discomfort.
A low-grade fever may also signal a freezing instead of allergies.
Colds aren’t as immediate as allergies. Instead, they tend to develop over the course of a few days, says Dr. Bryson.
You can attempt a few diverse things to assist relieve a cough.
Decongestants can work for, well, congestion. And ingredients love dextromethorphan (found in numerous multi-symptom products love Vicks NyQuil Freezing & Flu Nighttime Relief) can can assist ease the coughing itself. Just make certain you take any products as-directed.
It should be said, however, that a dry cough isn’t always allergies, just love a wet cough isn’t always a freezing. Allergies can plague your nose, for example, causing post-nasal drip (a wet cough), while mild colds might not leave you stuffed up enough to produce any phlegm.
How you can treat a cough yourself
There’s generally no need to see a GP.
- drink plenty of fluids
You could also try:
- hot lemon and honey (not suitable for babies under 1 year old)
- a herbal medicine called pelargonium (suitable for people aged 12 or over)
There’s limited evidence to show these work.
Hot lemon with honey has a similar effect to cough medicines.
What causes coughs
Most coughs are caused by a freezing or flu.
Other causes include:
- heartburn (acid reflux)
- infections love bronchitis
- allergies – for example, hay fever
- mucus dripping below the throat from the back of the nose
A cough is extremely rarely a sign of something serious love lung cancer.
Media final reviewed: 14 May 2018
Media review due: 9 May 2021
Sheet final reviewed: 18 December 2017
Next review due: 18 December 2020
No matter why it’s happening, a cough is always annoying—it’s noisy, it’s uncomfortable, and it never fails to garner unwanted attention.
But what’s really behind that cough? Can allergies cause coughing—or do you just own an annoying cold?
Well, turns out, there are some beautiful distinct differences between allergy coughs and freezing coughs…
So…can allergies cause coughing? Give it to me straight.
In short, yes.
Generally, allergies create dry coughs (it’s a direct reaction to something you’re sensitive or allergic to in the airways). If that’s the case, you’ll likely own other symptoms (think: itchy, watery eyes; a runny nose; an itchy throat; and sneezing, says Dr. Lee). Headaches and wheezing often come with allergies, too, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Timing’s also a factor.
If you’re allergic to pollen (or your BFF’s new adorable kitten), for example, you’ll likely notice symptoms (including your cough) almost immediately, or within an hour of being exposed. And those symptoms could final for hours after you’ve been exposed—even after the allergen isn’t nearby anymore.
Coughs related to allergies are also dependent on patterns, so doctors always attempt to glance at the large picture. Tell you get a cough every single March. That could be a sign you’re actually suffering from allergies, instead of the common freezing. «You need to glance at everything that’s going on,» says Paul Bryson, MD, an otolaryngologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Your best defense for a cough from allergies?
Antihistamines love Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec, which are every available over-the-counter. Other options include steroid nasal sprays and immunotherapy shots, which can work to regulate your body’s response to allergens, instead of just relieving the symptoms.
You can enquire a pharmacist about:
- cough syrup
- cough medicine (some cough medicines should not be given to children under 12)
- cough sweets
These will not stop your cough, but will assist you cough less.
Decongestants and cough medicines containing codeine will not stop your cough.
Find a pharmacy
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- you feel extremely unwell
- you discover it hard to breathe
- the side of your neck feels swollen and painful (swollen glands)
- you own had a cough for more than 3 weeks (persistent cough)
- you’re losing weight for no reason
- your cough is extremely bad or quickly gets worse – for example, you own a hacking cough or cannot stop coughing
- you own chest pain
- you own a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy or diabetes
See a GP urgently if you’re coughing up blood.
What happens at your appointment
To discover out what’s causing your cough, your GP might:
- take a sample of any mucus you might be coughing up
- order an X-ray, allergy test, or a test to see how well your lungs work
- refer you to hospital to see a specialist, but this is extremely rare
Antibiotics are not normally prescribed for coughs.
Your GP will only prescribe them if you need them – for example, if you own a bacterial infection or you’re at risk of complications.