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Have you ever asked yourself, “I have a cough that won’t go away, but I’m not sick? Why am I coughing for no reason?”

Did you know that sometimes we cough for no apparent reason even though we’re not sick? More often than not, it’s due to an irritation or clearing of airways, but sometimes a cough can hang around for days, weeks, or even months. 

Coughing is one of the best ways for your body to tell you that something is wrong with you even if you feel healthy and everything is fine. However, having a stubborn cough when you’re fine is annoying. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of causes for your uncomfortable cough so, find out all you need to know about your lingering cough and some underlying causes below.

What Does Coughing For No Apparent Reason Mean?

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To clarify, it’s a misconception that you can’t get these annoying symptoms if you’re not sick. On the contrary, you are capable of coughing even when you’re feeling on top of your game. Since the causes of cough vary quite a bit, we’ll explore the most common ones. 

  1. Your body is clearing your airway of irritants

Coughing is one of the body’s most important mechanisms to get rid of foreign irritants or clear your throat of mucus. Everyone coughs to clear out their throat and airways from time to time, especially when dust, phlegm, mucus, and other irritants gather up in your windpipes and lungs.

  1. Reactive Airway Disease Because of a Cold or the Flu 

Have you gotten over a cold recently? A cough can have an apparent lingering effect after your body has healed and you feel fine; this is because of the mucus buildup in your throat, and coughing is how your body is trying to get rid of it. 

The mucus builds up in your sinuses and nasal passages and then keeps dripping down the back of your throat, creating the tickle sensation which makes you want to cough. So when you cough, it’s basically your body trying to get rid of the cold left behind. 

  1. Asthma Cough 

Besides coughing, asthma includes other symptoms such as chest pain, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. But there are times that the only symptom when you have asthma is cough, so it can be hard for you to find out your condition without healthcare professionals’ help. 

  1. Side Effect from Medication 

ACE inhibitor medications, a group of drugs used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other conditions, are usually responsible for a persistent dry cough. “ACE inhibitors for blood pressure often cause a chronic dry cough,” says David Hill, MD, clinical research director at Waterbury Pulmonary Associates in Waterbury, CT, and a volunteer medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association.

Find out more on drug-induced cough here and consult with your doctor if you use any of such medications.

  1. Post-Nasal Drip

Post-nasal drip syndrome is the commonest cause of persistent cough. It often occurs when you have chronic rhinitis, also known as upper airway cough syndrome, or a more common name, the stuffy nose cough. When you have this, you will be experiencing the sensation of liquid dripping down the back of your throat, which results in cough to clear it out. 

  1. GERD Cough or Acid Reflux 

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be the cause of the persistent dry cough. This symptom happens when a part of your stomach acid comes up to your throat, which irritates it and makes you cough as a result. People with GERD cough tend to have trouble swallowing and have to clear their throat continuously. 

  1. Smoking

Everyone knows smoking is not good for your health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking accounts for about 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Therefore your cough could be due to chronic bronchitis, where cumulative lung damage prevents the body’s normal ability to clear particles.

Is It Normal to Be Coughing for no Reason Without The Cough Going Away?

Perhaps you are wondering how to differentiate between a regular cough and a sickness cough. Firstly, coughs lasting less than three weeks are described as acute coughs, while coughs that improve after three to eight weeks are considered subacute. 

Secondly, most coughs tend to clear up or significantly improve within 14 days.Thirdly, if your cough lasts longer than eight weeks, then it’s a chronic cough. This kind of chronic cough can be the first sign of many diseases and health conditions like heart disease, stomach disease, allergy, respiratory infections, the flu, or even COVID-19.

How to Get Rid of a Cough When I’m Not Sick?

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Getting rid of a cough starts with knowing the cough’s cause; you can easily find its solution depending on the condition. Firstly, some light must be she on the cause. So you are no longer in the dark thinking you are coughing for no reason.

If the cause of your cough is some allergic reaction from foreign irritants such as smoke or pollen, taking an allergy medicine can help solve the problem.

You might have no idea what’s irritating your throat. Thus, the best idea to get rid of that annoying cough is to seek medical advice. Peter M. Small, M.D Professor, Department of Medicine, and Chief Medical Officer at Hyfe says, “Patients seek care very late in the disease, and part of that is because we, as a society, tend to ignore coughing in adults. Acoustic AI as pioneered by Hyfe is changing all of that.

The next best thing you can do is keep a close eye on your health and keep track of it every day. Hyfe has developed an application that helps you keep track and monitor your cough 24/7. And it’s free to download on your mobile devices.

AI technology records every time you cough. The data gets stored so that when you visit your doctor, they will have a head start on diagnosis and treatment.

What do you think is the best route when you have a cough that won’t go away? Let us know in the comment section below! Hyfe uses artificial intelligence to identify coughs. It counts every cough and allows you to compare and track your coughing over time. These features provide you with objective insights into your coughing and can help you monitor your health in the context of pollution, asthma, or even COVID-19. Stay on top of your health by tracking your cough with Hyfe.

10 Comments

  1. Hie a have a cough that is not going away l have taking different types of cough syrups antibiotics ,it’s been 2 months now also taking herbs but still no change ,l am not sick just the cough and now l am tied of it please help

    • Hi Penia,

      I am sorry to hear about how your cough is impacting your quality of life.
      Also would like to thank you for reading our blog.

      First and foremost, I must stress that you must seek a physician for medical advice and treatment. If you have already seen a doctor and still feel you need support, consider seeking a second opinion.

      Have you tried out installing the app and let it acquire at least a few days of the amount of cough you do daily? If you do this, the next time you go to the doctor, you can communicate a lot more in terms of how you are doing.

      Wishing you well
      R

  2. I have cough for about 4 or 5 months. And i only have cough at night, without mucus when i cough. What do i do? I had already met 2 different doctor. The result of my xray is ok but still i have cough. they said i have allergy and postnasal drip but the medicine i take did not suit to it. I am very annoyed with my cough till now i suffered a dry cough most specially at night.

    I take levocetirizine and muntilukast.

    • Mabelle, I am sorry to hear about how your cough is affecting your quality of life.

      First and foremost, I must stress that you must seek a physician for medical advice and treatment. Since you have already seen two doctors and still feel you need support, consider having a frank conversation with your GP and ask him or her whether a certain specialist might complement their efforts regarding your care.

      Have you tried out installing the app and let it acquire at least a few days of the amount of cough you do daily? If you do this, the next time you go to the doctor, you can communicate a lot more in terms of how you are doing.

      Since you mentioned you cough at night. I suggest you check out this article we did a while back focused on coughing at night.

      Wishing you well
      R

  3. Almost once a year I suffer from a never ending dry cough. Once I start talking the cough starts. If I don’t talk I don’t cough. It will linger on for one to two months.

    • Hello Salman,
      I am sorry to hear that you have a cough that drastically affects your quality of life.

      Hyfe can be valuable for you and your healthcare providers to better understand your cough dynamics.

      However, we must stress that it is of utmost importance you seek a physician for medical advice and treatment.

  4. I have a dry hacking cough for at least 4 months now. It is getting worse than better. What do I need to do to get rid of it? I am an x smoker for 23 years. Can that be my problem?

    • Hello Betty,

      Thank you so much for reading us and for reaching out.

      Regarding your question:
      Hyfe can be valuable for users to develop a better understanding of their cough dynamics, but medical questions and treatment are best discussed with one’s physician.

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