What to do for bad allergy cough
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.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may at first feel love those of a freezing.
But unlike a freezing that may incubate before causing discomfort, symptoms of allergies generally appear almost as soon as a person encounters an allergen, such as pollen or mold.
Symptoms include itchy eyes, ears, nose or throat, sneezing, irritability, nasal congestion and hoarseness. People may also experience cough, postnasal drip, sinus pressure or headaches, decreased sense of smell, snoring, sleep apnea, fatigue and asthma, Josephson said. [Oral Allergy Syndrome: 6 Ways to Avoid an Itchy, Tingling Mouth]
Many of these symptoms are the immune system’s overreaction as it attempts to protect the vital and sensitive respiratory system from exterior invaders.
The antibodies produced by the body hold the foreign invaders out, but also cause the symptoms characteristic of allergic responses.
People can develop hay fever at any age, but most people are diagnosed with the disorder in childhood or early adulthood, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms typically become less severe as people age.
Often, children may first experience food allergies and eczema, or itchy skin, before developing hay fever, Josephson said.
«This then worsens over the years, and patients then develop allergies to indoor allergens love dust and animals, or seasonal rhinitis, love ragweed, grass pollen, molds and tree pollen.»
Hay fever can also lead to other medical conditions. People who are allergic to weeds are more likely to get other allergies and develop asthma as they age, Josephson said.
But those who get immunotherapy, such as allergy shots that assist people’s bodies get used to allergens, are less likely to develop asthma, he said.
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.
Itchy eyes, a congested nose, sneezing, wheezing and hives: these are symptoms of an allergic reaction caused when plants release pollen into the air, generally in the spring or drop. Numerous people use hay fever as a colloquial term for these seasonal allergies and the inflammation of the nose and airways.
But hay fever is a misnomer, said Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat doctor and sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
«It is not an allergy to hay,» Josephson, author of the book «Sinus Relief Now» (Perigee Trade, 2006), told Live Science.
«Rather, it is an allergy to weeds that pollinate.»
Doctors and researchers prefer the phrase allergic rhinitis to describe the condition.
More than 50 million people experience some type of allergy each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. In 2017, 8.1% of adults and 7.7% of children reported own allergic rhinitis symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, between 10 and 30% of people are affected by allergic rhinitis, Josephson said.
In 2019, spring arrived early in some parts of the country and later in others, according to the National Phenology Network (NPN). Spring brings blooming plants and, for some, lots of sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and runny noses. According to NPN data, spring reared its head about two weeks early in areas of California, Nevada and numerous of the Southern and Southeastern states.
Much of California, for example, is preparing for a brutal allergy season due to the large quantity of winter rain. On the other hand, spring ranged from about one to two weeks tardy in the Northwest, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic U.S. [Watch a Massive ‘Pollen Cloud’ Explode from Late-Blooming Tree]
So…can allergies cause coughing? Give it to me straight.
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.
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?
Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.
This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.
Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.
Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021
No matter why it’s happening, a cough is always annoying—it’s noisy, it’s uncomfortable, and it never fails to garner unwanted attention.
But what’s really behind that cough? Can allergies cause coughing—or do you just own an annoying cold?
Well, turns out, there are some beautiful distinct differences between allergy coughs and freezing coughs…
Main allergy symptoms
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
- dry, red and cracked skin
The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.
For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.
See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.
Read more about diagnosing allergies.