Acute cough is reported by 5% of the adult population each year.
Acute cough is defined as a sudden onset of a cough that lasts less than three weeks. It is one of the most common reasons people see their doctor. The causes of acute cough can be divided into three categories: infectious, environmental, and non-infectious.
Infectious causes include viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The most common viral cause of acute cough is the common cold caused by the rhinovirus. Other viral causes include COVID-19, influenza, bronchitis, and pertussis. Bacterial causes include Bordetella pertussis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenza pneumonia. The most common fungal cause of acute cough is Aspergillus fumigatus.
Environmental causes include irritants such as smoke, dust, fumes, and chemicals. Air pollution is also a common environmental cause of acute cough.
Non-infectious causes include allergies, postnasal drip, and heartburn. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are also common non-infectious causes of acute cough.
The risk factors for acute cough vary depending on the underlying cause. Infectious causes, such as the common cold, are more common in children and people exposed to large groups, such as in daycare or school. Environmental causes, such as air pollution, are more common in people who live in urban areas. Non-infectious causes, such as allergies and asthma, are more common in people with a family history of the condition.
There are several prevention strategies for acute cough.
For infectious causes, such as the common cold, washing your hands often and avoiding close contact with sick people can help prevent the spread of the virus.
For environmental causes, such as air pollution, staying indoors on days when air pollution is high can help reduce your exposure.
For non-infectious causes, such as allergies, avoiding triggers, such as pollen or pet dander, can help prevent an attack.
There are many treatment options for acute cough. For most people, home remedies, such as drinking plenty of fluids and resting, are all that is needed. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as cough suppressants and expectorants, can also be helpful.
You can find all brand and generic over-the-counter medications for cough at Ogden Pharmacy. If you live in Lynnwood, Ogden, or Riverbend, you can drop by and discuss your cough concerns with the pharmacists. They can either directly help with an OTC, or if they see that the case is severe, they can refer you to a doctor.
For example, depending on the cough cause and after a discussion with the pharmacist, you can get Option+ Complete Daytime Liquid Capsules or Benylin Extra Strength (Dry Cough) or Kids 0 – 9 Night Syrup for Cold and Flu-like Symptoms or any of the other over-the-counter cough medications.
You should see your doctor if your cough is severe or does not improve with home treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if your cough is caused by a bacterial infection or steroids if your cough is caused by asthma or COPD.