Do Allergies Cause Coughing?
Allergies are common conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. They occur when the body’s immune system reacts to substances in the environment known as allergens triggering various symptoms. Coughing is one of the most common symptoms experienced by people with allergies but the link between allergies coughing is not always evident.
The Allergic Response:
When a person with allergies encounters an allergen their immune system goes into overdrive releasing chemicals such as histamines. Histamines cause inflammation irritation in different parts of the body including the respiratory system. This immune response aims to flush out the allergen from the body leading to symptoms like coughing sneezing runny nose itchy/watery eyes.
Coughing is a common symptom of allergic reactions particularly in individuals with respiratory allergies or asthma. The body tries to expel the allergen particles that have entered the airways leading to persistent or chronic coughing episodes. Allergies can trigger two types of cough:
Allergic Rhinitis Cough:
Allergic rhinitis commonly known as hay fever is an allergy that affects the nose. When allergens such as pollen or dust mites are inhaled they can trigger a cough due to the postnasal drip. This occurs when excessive mucus produced in the nose drips down the throat irritating the airways making a person cough. This type of cough is usually dry persistent.
Allergic Asthma Cough:
Allergies can also trigger asthma symptoms including coughing. Allergic asthma is a chronic condition where the airways become narrow inflamed when exposed to specific allergens. This leads to coughing wheezing shortness of breath chest tightness. Coughing due to allergic asthma may be accompanied by other asthma symptoms.
If allergies are causing coughing it is essential to manage the underlying allergy to alleviate the symptoms. Here are some tips:
1. Avoid Allergens:
Identify avoid the allergens triggering your symptoms. This may involve staying indoors during high pollen counts using dust mite covers on bedding or keeping pets out of the bedroom.
2. Use Allergy Medications:
Over-the-counter antihistamines can help reduce symptoms including coughing. Nasal sprays decongestants may also be beneficial in managing nasal symptoms that contribute to coughing. Consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate medication choices dosages.
3. Allergy Shots:
For severe or persistent allergies allergen immunotherapy commonly known as allergy shots may be recommended. These shots help desensitize the immune system to specific allergens reducing the allergic response.
4. Manage Asthma:
If coughing is due to allergic asthma it is crucial to manage asthma effectively. This may involve using inhalers avoiding triggers following an asthma action plan prescribed by a healthcare professional.
Allergies can cause coughing as a common symptom due to the body’s immune response to allergens. Whether it is a dry cough from allergic rhinitis or a cough associated with allergic asthma managing the underlying allergy is crucial to alleviate symptoms improve quality of life. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for managing allergies associated coughing.
– Mayo Clinic. (2020). Allergies. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351497
– American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. (n.d.). Allergic Rhinitis. Retrieved from https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergic-rhinitis
– American Lung Association. (n.d.). Asthma. Retrieved from https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/asthma