Coughing is the phenomena in which air in the lungs suddenly expels to clean up the path between the throat and lungs. It is very common and considered to be very unhygienic when people cough without placing their hands on mouth or even don’t wash hands afterwards (which may lead to the spreading of bacteria and other viruses to the people around).
The throat may feel scratchy and disrupted after forceful coughing fits and you may feel uncomfortable or even short of breath. In most uncomplicated and non-infectious cases, the cough doesn’t stay for too long and goes away in 1 or 2 days. In several cases it may take several weeks to get better.
What Causes Uncontrollable Cough?
Uncontrollable coughing fits are very common among children and young adults which is due to whooping cough in children and bronchiectasis in adults. These can also cause coughing episodes which resemble to uncontrollable cough. Some of the common causes of uncontrollable coughing fits are:
1. Sudden Weather Change
In sudden changes of temperature or weather, the bacteria may enter into the body; thereby resulting in extreme coughing fits that may last for two to three days.
2. Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is common among children, it is violent and tough infection caused by bacteria in which “whoop” sound is created in the throat while breathing. It may also cause vomiting and air blocking in throat. It can be prevented in children and adults by regular vaccination.
Symptoms of Uncontrollable Cough
If you are facing any of these conditions you can clearly determine that you are having whooping cough:
- Running nose
- Watery and red eyes
- Fever and cough with other seasonal diseases.
- Thick congestion
But the problem is that these symptoms do not appear at the start. They usually appear after 7-10 days of having cough and may get worse within few more days with severe and uncontrollable coughing fits which may cause:
- Red or blue colored face
- High-pitched whooping sounds while breathing
The phenomenon of inflammation in bronchial tube of chest is known as bronchitis which is one common reason of uncontrollable cough in young adults. It is very common in smokers due to smoke flakes that enters into the airway and cause irritation. Additionally, the flakes also stimulate the excessive mucus production that may require the need for clearing the throat more often. The cause of bronchiectasis can be autoimmune or hereditary but mostly it is caused by respiratory infections including pneumonia and tuberculosis.
4. Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease
Stomach acid can also cause uncontrollable coughing due to GERD (which can travel back into the esophagus to cause irritation). This situation can be controlled by coughing through which the acid can be kept down. The person might feel sour throat and irritation in throat after coughing. The common symptom of GERD is heart burning during sleep. In result, it can cause uncontrollable cough fits along with irritation on the back of throat.
COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a non-infectious disease related to blocking of airway usually caused due to smoking, air impurities or other inhaled toxins. There are two main types of COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In most cases, the chronic bronchitis is responsible for serious uncontrollable cough also known as “Smokers’ cough”.
It happens when the airway in your lungs are narrow and constricted; thereby making it difficult to achieve the transfer of air. It can due to several reasons including viral and seasonal infections, allergies, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reactions, air impurities like dust and smoke, changes in the weather or stressed mind. One major factor behind asthma is GERD.
It can cause uncontrollable cough in children and adults both, it may also result in the uncontrollable coughing, breathing difficulty and wheezing while cough.
7. Other Reasons
Some other reasons include medications taken for high blood pressure and heart issues, and seasonal allergies, lung cancer, and post nasal drip which irritates back of throat.
How to Deal with Uncontrollable Cough
Uncontrollable cough can ruin your sleep, here are some tips that you may follow to avoid the irritation at night while sleeping:
1. Intake of Honey in Herbal Tea
Try to drink non-caffeinated herbal tea every night before going to bed, adding honey will accelerate the process of soothing your throat.Warm liquids help breakup the mucus in your airways so drink it warm.
Warm milk also acts like a home remedy for coughing fits, taking warm milk with honey allows you to rest without coughing by lubricating the throat.
2. Try Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus can also be used as a good remedy for coughing; its decongestant nature helps in easing the fits naturally. It can be used by rubbing on the lower side of feet or can be applied on chest by combining with olive oil.
3. Sleep on Inclined Surface
Keep your head a little up from your body using pillows. It helps in preventing the flow of mucus to your throat. You may also use wooden blocks under your head or under the head side foot of your bed to raise it upwards.
Taking steam will provide relief to your throat from irritation and will wet the dry airway. You can take steam bath before sleep or just sit in steamy place or inhale steam from water.
5. The Right Room Humidity
More than required moisture in room can also lead to uncontrollable cough. Let air enter into your room to keep the humidity level from 40% to 50%. You can measure humidity by hygrometer.
6. Keep the Bed Clean
Clean bed doesn’t easily allow cough and other allergies to attack, keep your bed clean by washing the beddings in hot and antibacterial water.
Take cough medicines to help loose the mucus, block the reflex and reduce the need to cough. Carefully check the label before taking it and the best is to ask your doctor if you have any doubts about it.
8. Consult Your Doctor
If you are having uncontrollable cough from 7 or more days, get yourself checked by your doctor to find the cause and treat accordingly.