What helps a cough from allergies
In short, yes.
Generally, allergies create dry coughs (it’s a direct reaction to something you’re sensitive or allergic to in the airways). If that’s the case, you’ll likely own other symptoms (think: itchy, watery eyes; a runny nose; an itchy throat; and sneezing, says Dr. Lee).
Headaches and wheezing often come with allergies, too, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Timing’s also a factor. If you’re allergic to pollen (or your BFF’s new adorable kitten), for example, you’ll likely notice symptoms (including your cough) almost immediately, or within an hour of being exposed. And those symptoms could final for hours after you’ve been exposed—even after the allergen isn’t nearby anymore.
Coughs related to allergies are also dependent on patterns, so doctors always attempt to glance at the large picture. Tell you get a cough every single March.
That could be a sign you’re actually suffering from allergies, instead of the common freezing. «You need to glance at everything that’s going on,» says Paul Bryson, MD, an otolaryngologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Your best defense for a cough from allergies? Antihistamines love Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec, which are every available over-the-counter.
Other options include steroid nasal sprays and immunotherapy shots, which can work to regulate your body’s response to allergens, instead of just relieving the symptoms.
How to treat hay fever yourself
There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.
But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.
- stay indoors whenever possible
- put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
- hold windows and doors shut as much as possible
- wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- shower and change your clothes after you own been exterior to wash pollen off
- purchase a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
- do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
- do not cut grass or stroll on grass
- do not dry clothes exterior – they can catch pollen
- do not hold unused flowers in the home
- do not spend too much time exterior
- do not let pets into the home if possible – they can carry pollen indoors
Allergy UK has more tips on managing hay fever.
A pharmacist can assist with hay fever
Speak to your pharmacist if you own hay fever.
They can give advice and propose the best treatments, love antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to assist with:
- itchy and watery eyes and sneezing
- a blocked nose
Find a pharmacy
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- your symptoms are getting worse
- your symptoms do not improve after taking medicines from the pharmacy
Check if you own hay fever
Symptoms of hay fever include:
- pain around your temples and forehead
- sneezing and coughing
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- loss of smell
- feeling tired
If you own asthma, you might also:
- be short of breath
- have a tight feeling in your chest
- wheeze and cough
Hay fever will final for weeks or months, unlike a freezing, which generally goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.
Just curious: Why do we cough, anyway?
«The purpose of a cough is to assist us,» says Monica Lee, MD, an otolaryngologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
It’s your body’s way of trying to expel something it perceives as a threat in the airway, she says.
Those perceived threats can be a bunch of diverse things: a piece of food stuck in your throat, pollen, air pollution, or swelling or drainage from additional mucus in your throat. Every those things irritate the sensory fibers in your airway, which then stimulate a cough.
As for what exactly happens in your body during a cough? It’s helpful of complicated, says Dr. Lee. Basically, your vocal chords shut briefly to generate pressure in the lungs.
Once enough pressure is built up, your vocal chords open back up, and air flows quickly through your voice box, which generates that coughing sound.
Kinda cool, huh?
How do I know my cough is from a cold?
You know how allergy coughs are typically on the drier side? Coughs from colds (or the flu) tend to be on the wetter side (that «wetness» is actually mucus your body is trying to move out of your body, says Dr. Lee).
Coughs that come along with a freezing generally come along with stuffiness, along with postnasal drip (a.k.a., mucus running below the back of your throat), which can cause a sore throat or chest discomfort. A low-grade fever may also signal a freezing instead of allergies.
Colds aren’t as immediate as allergies. Instead, they tend to develop over the course of a few days, says Dr. Bryson.
You can attempt a few diverse things to assist relieve a cough. Decongestants can work for, well, congestion. And ingredients love dextromethorphan (found in numerous multi-symptom products love Vicks NyQuil Freezing & Flu Nighttime Relief) can can assist ease the coughing itself. Just make certain you take any products as-directed.
It should be said, however, that a dry cough isn’t always allergies, just love a wet cough isn’t always a freezing. Allergies can plague your nose, for example, causing post-nasal drip (a wet cough), while mild colds might not leave you stuffed up enough to produce any phlegm.
Do I ever need to worry about a cough?
Something significant to remember: A cough—no matter its cause—shouldn’t be your norm.
Colds generally run their course within a couple of weeks, which means a cough associated with a freezing should go away in about three weeks time (though some can linger on for as endless as eight weeks), according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The length of an allergy-related cough will vary depending on how (if) you’re treating it.
But if you notice you’re still barking after two months of symptoms, see your doc. You could either be dealing with an allergy you’re not aware of (this is where an allergy test could come into play) or potentially suffering from another issue such as asthma (especially if you notice shortness of breath with any of your symptoms), reflux, pneumonia, or bronchitis, says Dr. Bryson.
And if something (allergies or a pesky cold) is bothering you enough to disrupt your life, don’t put off getting it checked out.
If nothing else, seeing a doc will give you peace of mind and maybe even speed up your recovery time.
Cassie ShortsleeveFreelance WriterCassie Shortsleeve is a skilled freelance author and editor with almost a decade of experience reporting on every things health, fitness, and travel.
Hay fever is generally worse between tardy March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.