Bumisuka.com – 7 Causes of Cough Accompanied by Shortness of Breath and Don’t Keep It. Everyone must have had a cough. There are a number of conditions that can cause coughing and are generally not serious. However, sometimes coughing can also be accompanied by shortness of breath. Well, cough accompanied by shortness of breath is usually a more serious condition and should not be ignored.
The first step you need to do if you experience these symptoms is to talk to your doctor immediately. Later, the doctor will help find out what you are experiencing and the appropriate treatment.
Cough with shortness of breath can be caused by many things, here are some of the most common causes.
1. Postnasal drip
Postnasal drip is a condition when mucus in the nose drips down the back of the throat. According to the WebMD page, this can occur due to allergies, viruses, sinus infections, and dust or fumes in the air.
There are various treatments, depending on the cause. Here are some treatment options for postnasal drip:
- Antihistamine pills.
- Decongestant pills.
- Nasal spray.
You can also do the following to relieve symptoms:
- Use a humidifier or inhale the steam from the hot water.
- Increase fluid intake to thin mucus.
- Support your head with a pillow while sleeping so that mucus doesn’t build up in the back of your throat.
- Clean the nasal passages with salt water.
Symptoms of COVID-19 vary, but many people experience a cough with shortness of breath. Shortness of breath can occur due to inflammation in the lungs.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shortness of breath is more experienced by people who are hospitalized than those who do not require hospitalization.
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 to look out for include:
- Loss of the ability to smell and taste food.
Sudden shortness of breath can be an indication of an asthma attack. As explained by the NHS Inform page, asthma occurs when the airways narrow and produce more phlegm, which causes wheezing and coughing. Shortness of breath occurs because it is difficult to move air in and out of the airways.
To overcome shortness of breath, doctors usually recommend using a spacer inhaler. This delivers more medicine to the lungs and helps relieve shortness of breath.
4. Acid reflux
Acid reflux is a condition when acid from the stomach rises into the esophagus. This can further cause some discomfort, from a burning feeling in the chest (heartburn) to the throat, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Doctors usually give medicines to reduce stomach acid and its symptoms. A number of lifestyle changes can also relieve coughing and other symptoms of acid reflux. According to WebMD, here are some lifestyle changes that can help:
- Cut back on foods that cause acid reflux, such as high-fat foods, chocolate, soda, acidic juices, and alcohol.
- Do not eat at least 2 or 3 hours before lying down or going to bed.
- Sleep with a pillow 15 centimeters (cm) high.
- If you are overweight, losing a few pounds can help.
- Avoid smoking.
5. Heart failure
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood normally. This is a long-term condition that gets worse over time.
When the heart pumps less blood, it can damage organs and fluid can collect in the lungs. The Cleveland Clinic page explains, symptoms of heart failure include:
- Hard to breathe.
- Legs are weak and feel tired when doing activities.
- The ankles, legs, and abdomen are swollen.
- Weight gain.
- Feelings of wanting to urinate at rest at night.
- Fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations).
- Stomach fullness, nausea, and loss of appetite.
Smoking habits can make you have a persistent cough with phlegm. Over time, this can also trigger shortness of breath.
The good news is that lung damage and other symptoms can be stopped once you stop smoking. Here are some steps you can take to successfully quit smoking:
- Determine when to quit smoking and commit to it.
- Tell those around you that you want to break the habit.
- Think about the healthy habits you would practice if the thought of starting smoking came back.
- Throw out all cigarettes.
- Ask your doctor about therapies that might work for you.
7. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
COPD occurs when the airways in the lungs become narrowed and inflamed, and the air sacs that take in oxygen are damaged. This is a long-term condition most often caused by smoking.
COPD is usually treated with medication. For advanced disease, your doctor may recommend supplemental oxygen or surgery.
In addition, adopting a healthy lifestyle can also help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Getting all the vaccines your doctor recommends will also help prevent infections that can cause COPD symptoms to recur.
Basically, a cough accompanied by shortness of breath will cause you to feel very uncomfortable and interfere with activities. So, it is best to visit a health facility to have your condition checked and get the most suitable treatment.