Why do I still cough weeks after a cold?

Why do I still cough weeks after a cold?

After an airway infection, whether bronchitis, Covid or the flu, it is not uncommon to continue to cough weeks after recovery. These post-infectious coughs can be relieved simply. How to explain them and what to do to make them disappear? Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, enlightens us.

After an infectious episode with cough, it is not uncommon for it to persist, sometimes weeks after recovery. How can we explain this phenomenon and alleviate it? Explanations from Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of TipsForWomens.

Coughs that persist in 11 to 25% of cases

After being sick, it is common to see one symptom last longer than the others: cough. The latter persists due to inflammation of the airways and the production of mucus from which the body tries to free itself. In an article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, experts even estimate that this affects between 11 and 25% of all adults affected by a respiratory infection.

Symptoms that improve after three to eight weeks

According to Dr. Omid Mehdizadeh, an otolaryngologist (ENT) at Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California, as cited by Healthline, a post-infectious cough, also known as post-infectious cough, viral, can occur after you have had a respiratory tract infection caused by a virus.

A post-viral cough is usually due to increased inflammation of the respiratory system, including the nose, throat and lungs“The symptoms can last between three and eight weeks before improving. Beyond this time, further investigations must be carried out to understand the reasons for this chronic cough.

Why can a cough last after an infection?

Questioned, Dr Gérald Kierzek explains why a cough can last. “After a viral infection, there is inflammation of the airways, which causes a residual cough which is also called post-infectious cough. It can cause increased sensitivity to environmental substances and cause coughing more, with a lower cough reflex threshold. the doctor says first. Then, it promotes the production of mucus “which can flow into the lungs or down the throat and which the body naturally wants to get rid of, again causing a cough. .

What to do if you have a persistent cough?

If you have a cough that lasts after a viral infection, you should consult a doctor if other symptoms reappear. “After a pneumoniafor example, you may feel better for a few days, then cough again and have a fever“explains the specialist. “You must then consult a doctor, because it is a worsening, for example a viral infection which becomes bacterial”.

The doctor may then order a chest X-ray or a CT scan of the lungs, to see the evolution of the pathology and eliminate a complication. “Remember that in the event of a viral infection, antibiotics will be of no use” adds Gérald Kierzek. On the other hand, in the event of a persistent dry cough, treatments sold in pharmacies can help you, such as syrups. “We can also turn to natural remedies, but be careful with essential oils, which require precautions for use. concludes the doctor.