Can Allergies Cause A Cough
Allergies are a common health condition that occurs when the immune system overreacts to certain substances called allergens. These allergens can be anything from pollen dust mites pet dander mold or certain foods. When a person with allergies comes in contact with an allergen their body releases chemicals such as histamine which can cause various symptoms.
One of the symptoms that allergies can trigger is a cough. An allergic cough is a persistent dry cough that is usually triggered by exposure to allergens. This type of cough is different from a cough caused by a common cold or the flu which is typically accompanied by other symptoms such as fever runny nose or body aches. An allergic cough can be continuous often worsens at night or in certain environments.
How Allergies Cause Coughing
Allergens can irritate the airways causing inflammation excess mucus production. This can lead to a cough as the body tries to clear the airways from the irritants. The cough may also be a result of postnasal drip which occurs when mucus from the nasal passages drips down the back of the throat. This irritates the throat triggers a cough reflex.
Common Allergens That Can Cause a Cough
Several common allergens are known to trigger coughing in susceptible individuals:
- Pollen: Pollen from trees grasses weeds can cause allergic reactions lead to coughing.
- Dust mites: The microscopic mites commonly found in bedding upholstery carpets can trigger an allergic cough.
- Pet dander: Allergies to pet dander such as cat or dog allergens can cause coughing in individuals who are sensitive to these allergens.
- Mold: Mold spores present in damp indoor areas or outdoors can lead to coughing other allergy symptoms.
- Smoke: Although not an allergen exposure to smoke such as cigarette smoke or wood smoke can irritate the airways result in a cough.
Managing an Allergic Cough
If you suspect that your cough is due to allergies it is important to see a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. Once diagnosed there are several strategies you can employ to manage alleviate your symptoms:
- Avoiding triggers: Identify try to avoid the allergens that trigger your cough. This may involve keeping windows closed using air purifiers regularly cleaning your living space.
- Over-the-counter medications: Antihistamines decongestants can help reduce coughing other allergy symptoms.
- Nasal irrigation: Using a saline rinse or a neti pot can help rinse out allergens from your nasal passages reducing postnasal drip coughing.
- Allergy shots: In severe cases your healthcare provider may recommend allergen immunotherapy commonly known as allergy shots to desensitize your immune system to specific allergens.
Allergies can indeed cause a cough which is typically persistent often worsens in specific environments. Understanding the triggers working with healthcare professionals to manage alleviate symptoms is key to living comfortably with allergies.