There are a wide variety of reasons that a person may develop a cough. A cough is often one of the symptoms of the common cold or the flu. Coughs may develop due to environmental factors like dust, chemicals, or pollen. While the main symptom of many environmental allergies is sneezing, cough often accompanies that sneezing. People who smoke cigarettes often develop a cough, often as a symptom of a condition like chronic bronchitis or emphysema. People who suffer from asthma often have a cough, particularly when they are in the throes of an asthma attack.
The treatment varies based on the cause of the cough. For temporary coughs, the type that happens with the common cold or with the flu, the cough may be allowed to run its course naturally as the illness resolves. For people who suffer from coughs due to allergies, the treatment may be more complex. The cause of the allergy must first be determined via allergy testing so that the appropriate treatment can be used. The treatment for a cough due to allergies often includes oral allergy medication and may include allergy shots. For a cough due to controllable environmental factors, such as cigarette smoking or chemical exposure, minimizing the exposure is essential. While it can be challenging to make these type of lifestyle adjustments, it will pay off in the long term with reduction of a cough as well as improved overall heath.
There may be some mild pain with most coughs, but if a cough causes severe pain in the chest it requires medical attention right away. This type of cough may be the result of a potentially serious condition like bronchitis, emphysema, or another lung-related illness. Most of these illnesses can be treated very effectively.