You might be inclined to associate a cough with a cold or respiratory virus. However, if you’ve had a persistent dry cough for several weeks, it may be a symptom of allergies. Let’s look at some of the common causes of an allergy cough, as well as treatment and prevention options.
Causes of Allergy Cough
Allergy coughs are typically caused by swelling or irritation of the airways. Some allergy triggers that might be more likely to cause a cough include:
- Seasonal pollen
- Mold spores
- Pet dander, urine, or saliva
- Dust mites
Allergies can also worsen asthma symptoms, causing a cough.
Could it Be Something Else?
You might be wondering how to distinguish a cough caused by allergies as opposed to a cough caused by a cold or COVID-19. While 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, a cough caused by allergies is more likely to be accompanied by other allergy symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
Additionally, if you notice you cough more during certain seasons or when you spend time out in natural settings like Tuscarora State Park, those might be signs your cough is allergy-related.
If you believe your cough is caused by allergies, make an appointment with an allergist to get tested. They can perform skin and/or blood tests to properly identify your allergy triggers and suggest possible treatments. They may also have you take a breathing test to see if your symptoms are caused by asthma.
A cough that’s due to allergies can be treated in a variety of ways using both medications and home remedies. These treatments include:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications: Medicines like antihistamines, nasal sprays, and decongestants, can help reduce inflammation and mucus production that can lead to a cough.
- Humidifiers: Humidifiers can help clear congestion and soothe irritation.
- Air purifiers: An air purifier can help reduce the number of allergens and irritants in your home or office space.
- Prescription medications: If OTC options aren’t helping, prescription nasal sprays and antihistamines can help alleviate an allergic cough. In certain cases, an inhaler might be prescribed as well.
If you have additional questions about coughs caused by allergies or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, contact Pinnacle ENT today.