Various causes possible: What against persistent cough really helps
Cough is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor. Not always the irritation of the throat caused by a cold or the flu. There are also other causes come into question. Often the symptoms will disappear quickly, but sometimes persist. Health experts explain what to do in case of a persistent cough.
Various triggers for cough
The cause of a chronic cough is not always in the lungs or in the respiratory tract. Also heartburn or inflammation in the nose and throat, as well as some medications can trigger the urge to cough. The German society for pneumology and respiratory medicine (DGP) in an updated guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of cough in adults. The experts put a special emphasis on possible causes, which remain by means of conventional diagnostic undetected.
Usually a Symptom of a cold or the flu
According to a from the information service science (idw) published notice of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen fachgesellschaften e. V. cough is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor.
It usually occurs as a Symptom of a cold or the flu and is improving after two weeks.
“If there are no serious symptoms, such as coughing up blood, shortness of breath or high fever, usually no further investigation is necessary,” said Dr. med. Peter Kardos from the pulmonary practice at the clinic Maingau in Frankfurt am Main.
However, in some cases, the cold and cough may persist for three to eight weeks, then it is called a subacute cough, for example, in the framework of whooping cough.
What helps with a cough
Kardos recommends in normal, cold-related cough different drugs. The DGP-according to experts, pure expectorants help only in the first two to three days.
Some herbal medicines have been able to show that it can relieve the duration and intensity of the often subsequent dry cough.
Gurgel solutions, lozenges, honey and cough drops work by wrapping the cough receptors in the throat, in the short term, irritation protect.
Other professionals also recommend to drink a lot of tea, such as sage tea,. Also, Inhale has been proven as a home remedy against cough.
And also dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content can help against cough, such as a study showed.
If symptoms persist necessarily the cause of clarify
Especially important is patience. “Coughing is a useful defense mechanism of our body, the carried out everything that does not belong in the respiratory tract,” says Kardos.
“Is the decayed the common cold infection, the underlying infection, the cough again. Since it is viral infections, help sorry, there are no antibiotics“.
If the cough lasts eight weeks or longer, should be clarified the cause in further studies.
“With the help of pulmonary function tests and x-rays can detect serious diseases such as a Tumor or a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or excluded,” said Kardos.
In some cases, the cause of the cough is in a hypersensitive cough reflex. Then even weak stimuli can trigger the Affected cough.
This can happen when the upper respiratory tract are irritated, for example by an inflammation of the nose and the sinuses.
“This, together with the neck-nose-ear doctor and treated found,” said Kardos, the spring has worked a leader in the guideline of the DGP.
Heartburn can cause a cough
Heartburn can also be a trigger for cough. Dr. Kardos is that every second Patient reported heartburn, when his doctor asks for it.
The ascending gastric juice but can also cause chronic cough, but only if the cough reflex is hypersensitive.
While the heartburn itself can be treated with medications or even with home remedies well, the cough will often persist and is difficult to treat.
“New medications, the sensitivity of the cough reflex to inhibit over long periods of time, are in development,” said the lung specialist. “The clinical Tests are not yet completed.” (ad)