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HomeAnswersPulmonology (Asthma Doctors)coughI have persistent cough which worsens with laughter. Please help.

Why does my cough persist and worsen with laughter, even with medication?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

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Published At January 18, 2024
Reviewed AtFebruary 2, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have had a persistent cough for three months, and at times, it worsens, especially after laughter, which is quite bothersome. I have already tried using cough syrup and antibiotics to address the issue. Please help.

Thank you.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and understand your concern.

If you have been experiencing a persistent cough for three months, it is advisable to consult with a primary care physician or a pulmonologist for a comprehensive evaluation and accurate diagnosis.

Chronic coughs can have various potential causes, including:

  1. Postnasal drip: Excessive mucus from the nose or sinuses can trickle down the throat, leading to coughing.
  2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Stomach acid regurgitating into the esophagus can cause irritation and trigger a cough.
  3. Asthma: A persistent cough may be indicative of asthma, particularly if it worsens with laughter or physical activity.
  4. Chronic bronchitis: Inflammation of the bronchial tubes can result in a prolonged cough.
  5. Medications: Certain drugs, such as ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors used for hypertension, can induce a persistent cough as a side effect.
  6. Past respiratory infections: Lingering coughs can sometimes be a result of prior respiratory infections, like colds or the flu.

Treatment for a dry cough depends on its underlying cause. I suggest you try the following general measures that might help reduce a dry cough:

  1. Maintain hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids can soothe the throat and reduce irritation.
  2. Honey: Consuming honey, either on its own or mixed with warm water or herbal tea, may help relieve a dry cough. Note that honey should not be given to children under one year of age.
  3. Over-the-counter cough suppressants: Medications containing Dextromethorphan can help control a dry cough. However, it is important to adhere to the instructions and consult with a pharmacist or healthcare professional before using such medications.
  4. Avoid irritants: Try to minimize exposure to smoke, strong odors, and other irritants that can trigger or exacerbate a cough.
  5. Humidify the air: Employing a humidifier or taking a steamy shower can moisten the air and soothe the throat.
  6. Saltwater gargle: Mixing salt in warm water and gargling can help alleviate throat irritation and reduce coughing.

If your dry cough persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, I suggest you seek medical attention. It is imperative to consult a healthcare professional who can assess your symptoms, conduct a physical examination, and potentially order additional tests like a chest X-ray or pulmonary function tests to pinpoint the underlying reason for your cough.

Hope this information helps you.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vandana Andrews
Dr. Vandana Andrews

General Practitioner

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