Because coughs are triggered by a tickle or irritation in the back of your throat, they can be caused by a number of things, from allergies to the common cold. But if your cough is lingering for 4 weeks or longer, you should come in for an evaluation. Persistent coughs can be a sign of other underlying health conditions. Plus, constantly coughing can cause headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and even fractured ribs.
What can a persistent or chronic cough be a sign of?
Coughs can linger for a number of reasons, including:
- Post-nasal drip from allergies or from a cold or sinus infection
- A dry or hoarse throat
- Exposure to chemicals from vaping, tobacco use, or toxins in the air
- Acid reflux
- Asthma or other chronic breathing problems that cause wheezing
- Upper respiratory infections
How do I know if my cough is serious?
If your cough is lingering for more than eight weeks, you should get it checked out, especially if you are coughing up blood or you’re in a high-risk group for more serious conditions.