A chronic cough is a cough that lasts for more than 8 weeks for adults and for more than 4 weeks for children. Unlike normal coughs, these are more persistent and become a major annoyance over time.
Coughing happens when you bring up mucus, germs, and dust from your lungs, where the act of coughing happens. Coughing serves an actual purpose even though it can be uncomfortable for many.
Coughs are minor and are usually short-lived. A cough may be caused by a simple condition such as a cold or the flu, but this type of a cough should only last for a few days.
Even though very rare, a cough can linger for weeks, months, or even years. This is called a chronic cough. A chronic cough can become serious if you start coughing without knowing an official cause.
Causes of a chronic cough
Chronic coughs are caused by conditions like postnasal drip or allergies such as dust and mold.
Even though chronic coughing is rarely seen as life-threatening, it can still be seen as a major annoyance on a day-to-day basis for most people. Chronic coughing can keep you from falling asleep, distract you in the workplace, and disrupt your social life. If a cough is lasting more than a few weeks, a doctor can be recommended after this period.
Acute coughs, compared to chronic coughs, last up to 2 to 3 weeks. These are the most common coughs, usually caused by the common cold, the flu, or acute bronchitis. Acute coughs are minor health wise and are typically not seen as a threat.
Treatments for a chronic cough
Cough suppressants and antibiotics can be used, as these can reduce inflammation. Reflux medicines are a good choice for treating a cough, as they help neutralize, reduce, and block acid production. These medicines can include:
- H2 receptor blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors