There are many causes of a cough, from colds and viruses to acid reflux. However, if you’ve been dealing with a persistent dry cough for several weeks, it may be a symptom of allergies.
What Triggers an Allergic Cough?
Allergy coughs are typically caused by swelling or irritation of the airways. Some allergy triggers that are more likely to cause a cough include:
- Seasonal pollen
- Mold spores
- Pet dander, urine, or saliva
- Dust mites
If you have asthma, allergy triggers can also aggravate your condition and lead to frequent coughing.
How to Know if Your Cough is Allergy-Related?
The only way to know for sure what is causing your cough is to make an appointment with your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis. However, a cough that is triggered by allergies is more likely to be accompanied by other classic allergy symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy, watery eyes
Additionally, if you notice you cough more during certain seasons or when you spend time out in nature, those might be signs your cough is allergy related.
Visit an Allergist
An allergist can help confirm whether or not your cough is allergy related by performing allergy testing to determine your specific triggers. Knowing what is causing your symptoms can play a vital role in your treatment options.
Avoiding Allergy Triggers
One of the best ways to manage your allergy symptoms is to eliminate or minimize your exposure to your allergy triggers. You can do this by:
- Checking local pollen levels and staying in when they are high
- Keeping the windows of your home and car closed
- Removing and washing all clothes after being outside
- Taking a shower before getting into bed to remove any pollen that might be on your skin or hair
- Regularly cleaning your bedding
- Vacuuming your carpets and upholstered furniture
- Using a dehumidifier in your home
- Not allowing any pets into the bedroom
Treating Allergic Cough
In addition to prevention methods, medication may be required to manage your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your cough, your allergist may recommend:
- Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants or nasal sprays
- Inhalers if you are experiencing asthma-like symptoms with your cough
- Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or drops
For more information about allergic coughs, call the specialists at Midwest Allergy & Asthma today.