Some of us encounter a nagging cough with the turn of the season. We then proceed to sift through our tried and tested home remedies to manage our cough. A lot of what we attempt is a speculation of what could be an underlying cause for the season of cough that lies ahead for us.
What Is Causing My Seasonal Cough?
Research has linked several causes have to a seasonal cough. To identify whether your cough is truly related to a change in season, a first step would be to record the times of the year you start coughing.
While it can be common to observe a seasonal cough primarily during the winter, for many, the appearance of spring or even summer also brings a chronic cough.
In winter, the drastic temperature changes are a reason for the appearance of flu-like symptoms. There is an increase in the susceptibility to infections during the winter months. Winter also makes your immune defenses slightly sluggish. With the cooling of the nasal passages, mucus clearance slows down. Additionally, cold air can cause breathing passages to tighten.
These changes can increase cough resulting from infections contracted during winter months or even underlying conditions such as asthma. Above all, you must be wary of viruses, which can survive more efficiently during the winter months, increasing the infection rate. Hence, the most frequently infecting microbes during the winter season are viruses.
With the appearance of spring or summer, pollen, dust, and pollution are concerns that could aggravate a cough. The allergens can trigger an asthmatic variant of chronic cough as well. Cases of acid reflux also peak during summer, becoming a sneaky cause of chronic cough.
In addition, for some people, a cough related to the nervous system (neurogenic cough) can result from a seasonal infection due to nerve inflammation. Specific changes in either temperature or environmental exposure during different seasons can heighten the neuronal sensitivity that results in a nagging cough that won’t go away.
Chronic cough on its own irritates the larynx and can also result in inflammation, which feeds into a loop of cough that results in more cough.
How Would I Identify a Seasonal Cough?
A cough that appears at roughly the same time every year would count as a seasonal cough.
Seasonal coughs often have such symptoms as fever, body aches, and sore throat. The variations in these symptoms could indicate the underlying cause of the cough, such as infection or asthma-induced cough.
Almost all seasonal coughs are chronic, lasting beyond eight weeks. In addition, most seasonal coughs are dry and persistent.
However, increased mucus production or underlying infections can result in a productive seasonal cough.
Tracking variations in cough frequency throughout the year results in the best way to identify when your seasonal cough is at its peak. Along with the cough, journaling-related symptoms that make an appearance can provide vital clues toward the causes of your seasonal cough.
What Should I Do For My Seasonal Cough?
Consider consulting with a healthcare specialist who can help piece together your tracked symptoms. Thus, you will get a holistic picture of what the possible causes of your cough might be.
Simple ways to navigate away from the seasonal cough include:
- Knowing your triggers and attempting to stay away from them as best you can.
- Maintain distance from those who have flu-like symptoms.
- Get the flu vaccine every season.
- Regularly washing your hands and maintaining optimum hygiene.
- Follow a nutritious diet. Supplement your diet with natural immunity boosters such as ginger and turmeric.
- Adequate sleep.
- Remain hydrated.
- Invest in a humidifier. Humid air propagates fewer infections.
- Wash out air filters and air conditioners.
With the threat of a new surge in COVID-19 infections looms, the ominous cough today is often equated with a possible coronavirus infection. However, a viral infection in itself could be the cause of your seasonal cough.
When tracking symptoms during a seasonal cough, consider noting down the season as well as possible allergens in your immediate environment. This awareness helps to provide essential clues toward cough triggers. It could also help identify causes such as stomach acid reflux, a postnasal drip, and asthma-induced cough – unlikely but frequent culprits of the chronic cough.