Chronic Cough | Causes & Risk Factors

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What can cause chronic cough?

Smoking

Smoking can cause a cough that doesn't go away.

Allergies

Postnasal drip caused by allergies can make you cough. Postnasal drip is mucus that runs down your throat from the back of your nose.

Medicines

Certain medicines, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for high blood pressure, can cause chronic cough. If you are taking medicines, ask your doctor if any of the medicines you use could cause you to cough.

Asthma

Coughing can be a sign of asthma. In some people who have mild asthma, a cough may be the only symptom. Your doctor may perform breathing tests to find out if you have asthma. He or she may also ask you to try taking some asthma medicine to see if your cough goes away.

Heartburn

Acid from your stomach may back up into your throat. This is called "acid reflux." It can cause heartburn or a cough. Acid reflux is more common when you're lying down.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00

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