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Understanding Chronic Cough:

A chronic cough is defined as a persistent cough lasting two months or more, often accompanied by various symptoms such as excess mucus in the throat, shortness of breath, stuffy nose, and heartburn. It can be triggered by conditions like sinus infections, GERD, asthma, or other relevant factors. Additionally, prolonged exposure to tobacco or passive smoking may also contribute to its occurrence.

Symptoms of Chronic Cough:

While symptoms may not be immediately evident, a chronic cough can manifest with a range of indications, including a stuffy or runny nose, hoarse voice, sore throat, sour taste in the mouth, irritating sensations in the throat or chest, and vocal cord dysfunction.

Causes of Chronic Cough:

Several factors can contribute to chronic cough:

  1. GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease): Stomach acid flowing back into the throat can cause chronic irritation and lead to a persistent cough.

  2. Postnasal Drip: Mucus dripping down the back of the throat can irritate it, causing a chronic cough. This condition may be characterized by a persistent “tickle” in the throat.

  3. Asthma: Cough associated with asthma may be intermittent, worsen with specific triggers like fragrances or cold air, or follow respiratory infections.

  4. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease): Respiratory issues such as emphysema and bronchitis can lead to a chronic cough.

  5. Bronchitis: Inflammation in the bronchial tubes and increased mucus production can cause a chronic cough, with chronic bronchitis being a common cause.

  6. Blood Pressure Drugs: Certain medications for high blood pressure, like ACE inhibitors, can induce a chronic cough.

  7. Infections: Infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and pertussis (whooping cough) can result in a chronic cough. Fungal infections, including tuberculosis, are also potential causes.

Complications Associated With Chronic Cough:

Chronic cough can lead to various complications, including:

  1. Loss of bladder control (stress incontinence) due to pressure on the bladder during physical activities.

  2. Vomiting, sometimes induced by the dripping of mucus down the throat during severe coughing bouts.

  3. Headaches triggered by excessive coughing, categorized as primary or secondary headaches.

  4. Intense sweating, often accompanied by blood in coughed-up mucus, indicating potential serious conditions such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic sinusitis.

  5. Sleep disruption, a common issue for chronic cough patients, prompting them to seek medical attention.

  6. Broken ribs, a consequence of persistent, forceful coughing that exceeds the elastic limits of the ribs, resulting in fractures, especially in susceptible areas.

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