Coughing is actually a body's mechanism that is adapted by the lungs to get rid of things that are causing irritation or discomfort. These sources of discomfort could be dirt, fluid or any other kind of irritant. We break down some of the most common reasons that lead to coughing, hence helping you figure out the actual problem behind the same in this comprehensive piece of annotation.

6 Common Reasons Why You Cannot Stop Coughing

6 Common Reasons Why You Cannot Stop Coughing

Reason #1: Common Cold induced Cough

A cough that persists for two to three weeks is most commonly due to cold virus, which is a result of common cold. This is generally the most irritating dry cough that can persist even after other symptoms are long gone. The virus affects the nerve endings in the throat, which stay sensitive for quite a long time. This is one of the common reasons why you cannot stop coughing.

Reason #2: Asthma

Asthma is the second most common reason of why you cannot stop coughing. Asthma is characterised by frequent wheezing and difficulty in breathing. However, in some cases, a variant of asthma could come with a persistent dry cough that tends to escalate over night. This is the reason asthma patients are advised to stay away from physical exercise and excursion as it increases the chances of taking in air contaminants thereby elevating the cough reflux. The doctor usually prescribes a breathing test to examine the presence of asthma. Upon diagnosis, medications are prescribed along with directing the use of inhaler. Asthma shots are also given weekly in case the cough is very acute.

Reason #3: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)

GERD makes the acid flow back to esophagus thereby severely affecting the nerve endings, and triggering a persistent dry chronic cough. Diagnosing symptoms associated with GERD can be daunting as the level of oesophageal laxity differs from person to the other. Coughing after meals that deepens during night accompanied with a hoarse voice is an indication of GERD induced cough thus making it one of the important and least known reasons of why you cannot stop coughing. Generally, antacid medicines are prescribed for treatment of GERD, yet a cough that remains prevalent for longer duration might require further diagnosis. In such cases, doctors usually prescribe prescription medications for six to nine weeks to make the patient feel better and to get relief from cough.

Reason #4: Pneumonia

In some situations, coughing can also be indicative of some severe infirmity. Respiratory infection characterised by filling of pus in air sacs within lungs is known as pneumonia. Pneumonia is one of the reasons, which causes painful coughing and why you cannot stop coughing. Pneumonia not only causes difficulty in breathing, but if left untreated, also can become life threatening in a matter of few days. Any form of discharge like green phlegm or mucus or blood accompanied with coughing is a direct indication of something severe that requires immediate medical attention. Moreover, chest discomfort that comes due to coughing should not be ignored; one should visit a doctor at the earliest to avoid complications later.

Pneumonia diagnosis includes an x-ray of the chest. Doctors might try to analyse your breathing pattern using a stethoscope to determine the presence of any b acterial infection that would require antibiotic medication for treatment.

Reason #5: Lung Cancer (Chronic Coughing can indicate Lung Cancer)

If coughing has gone overboard and has become worse since it has begun, then it could be an indication of lung cancer. When cough suppressants aren't working anymore and if other diagnosis have failed, then it becomes a cause for concern. Thus, this makes lung cancer one of the deadly reasons of why you cannot stop coughing.

However, it is very unfortunate as lung cancer prognosis is another challenge in the field of medical science, where only 17 percent of the cases are successfully diagnosed where as less than 5% percent are able to survive it.

"It is not possible to have isolated coughing as the only symptom for lung cancer", says Dr. Paterson, Head of Department at the Institute of Cancer. This means other symptoms are likely going to accompany coughing within 4 to 8 weeks post cancer has developed in the body. Nausea, weight loss, chest discomfort, fatigue etc. can be associated symptoms of lung cancer. If you have been facing any of these lately, visit a doctor at the earliest to proceed with cancer diagnosis and treatment. Thus, lung cancer is one of the reason of a chronic cough and should not be taken lightly.

Reason #6: Other Causes of Cough

In case the conditions mentioned above are not the reason for cough, then the doctor will make the patient go for a comprehensive chest CT scan or a chest x-ray that will help to determine the reason for chronic cough.

In case wheezing appears during certain times of the day, try to analyse the stimulus that is triggering it. Also, avoid visiting places where there is a higher chance of coming across allergens or contaminants like pollen, dirt etc. Surprisingly, about one third of people who take ACE inhibitors regularly fall prey to dry cough and sometimes can't stop coughing.

Finally, chronic coughing could be a reason of hypersensitivity to certain stimulus. This simply means there are certain things leading it, where the reaction from two different bodies differs from each other. The studies show that women suffer a higher reflexive cough than men, the reason for which hasn't been figured out yet. It is the cause, which needs to be determined so that a definite line of treatment can be practiced by the medical practitioner. Hence, staying in close contact with the doctor and following a good lifestyle regime can help you figure out the potential cause helping to avoid complications in future.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: September 20, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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