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dr. Rahul Mathur
Associate Consultant - Internal Medicine
MD (Gold Medalist)
Dr. Raman Mathur
Experienced Emergency Physician In Jaipur
MBBS, DNB Emergency Medicine
Asthma & Allergy
What Your Persistent Winter Cough Means?
Jan 15, 2024
Persistent Winter Cough: Dealing with a persistent winter cough can be exasperating for both the individual experiencing it and medical professionals. A cough is considered chronic when it extends beyond 8 weeks in adults and 4 weeks in children, causing disruptions in daily life and potential discomfort in the throat and chest.
This article delves into the reasons behind a lingering winter cough, exploring both common and more serious health issues associated with incessant coughing.
5 Common Causes of Persistent Winter Cough
1. Asthma: A prevalent trigger for a persistent winter cough, asthma can make individuals hypersensitive to cold air and irritants, resulting in a dry cough throughout the season. Cough-variant asthma is a specific type characterized by persistent coughing.
2. Bronchitis: Inflammation of the airways, often caused by chronic bronchitis, can lead to an enduring cough throughout the season. Seeking medical advice and treating bronchitis is crucial, especially for smokers who should consider quitting.
3. After-effects of Infections: Severe infections like pneumonia and flu can leave a lasting cough. Lingering coughs may indicate residual infection, requiring medication and care for recovery.
4. Allergies: Dry winter air carries allergens such as tree pollen, mold, and dust mites. Individuals allergic to these substances may experience a persistent winter cough, necessitating consultation with an allergy specialist for diagnosis and guidance.
5. Postnasal Drip: Mucus dripping down the back of the throat, known as postnasal drip, can irritate the throat and cause an enduring cough. Consulting a physician is recommended for guidance on alleviating this condition.
Cystic Fibrosis: Excess mucus in the respiratory system due to cystic fibrosis can result in a chronic cough. Continuous treatment is essential for managing this lifelong condition.
Lung Cancer: While rare, lung cancer can manifest as a persistent cough unresponsive to medication, often accompanied by chest pain and blood in the sputum. Immediate consultation with a doctor is crucial for evaluation.
Heart Disease: Coughing, combined with shortness of breath, may indicate cardiac cough, a potential symptom of heart disease. If these symptoms persist, prompt medical attention is necessary.
Sarcoidosis: An inflammatory disease causing small lumps in various body parts, sarcoidosis can lead to a persistent cough, especially if it affects the lungs. Testing may be recommended based on symptoms.
Bronchiolitis: A viral infection causing persistent cough in children, bronchiolitis requires patience as it runs its course. Pediatricians may prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms.
When to Seek Medical Attention or General Physician?
A persistent cough becomes a medical emergency if accompanied by serious symptoms such as high-grade fever, blood in sputum, shortness of breath, chest pain, night sweats, appetite and weight loss, excessive mucus production, or fatigue. While some coughs may be minor, consulting a general physician in Jaipur is crucial to rule out serious underlying causes and find effective solutions.