What are some of the causes of nocturnal cough?

There are numerous causes of nocturnal cough. Many of these can cause a cough during the day, but the most common causes of a nighttime cough are illnesses such as colds, viruses, allergies, asthma, and bacterial infections of the respiratory tract and sinuses. Some diseases or conditions in these groups are associated with worsening cough at night. Other factors that can trigger a cough at night include specific medications or conditions such as gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) and congestive heart failure (CHF).

Any kind of severe sinus or airway congestion can make a cough worse at night. Lying down makes it difficult for phlegm to drain and mucus can build up in the throat, stimulating nighttime coughing. Other factors like dry air or exposure to household allergens can also lead to more coughing. Slightly elevating the head with an extra pillow for adults or a pillow under the mattress for children can help with severity-based coughing issues, and using humidifiers and trying to reduce allergens in a home might improve humidity or humidity. allergy-based cough

Some infections are especially notable for their worsening nocturnal cough, and both occur more often in children. Croup, which can occur with many virus or bacterial infections, causes a seal-like cough that can begin a few hours after a child goes to bed. Whooping cough or pertussis also tend to be worse at night. These conditions improve over time, and croup may respond favorably to a more humid environment.

Allergic conditions can often cause a nocturnal cough that doesn't occur much during the day. This is explained by the fact that many people are allergic to things in their home, and after being out all day, they come home to exposure to allergens that cause sinus problems. By the time they are ready for bed, the sinuses and respiratory tract can be very irritated, creating a nocturnal cough. On the other hand, when people leave home for the day, symptoms improve. Asthma, which may or may not be caused by an allergy, is another condition that could be characterized by a nighttime cough.

Sometimes a nighttime cough is not related to viruses, bacterial infections, allergies, or asthma. GERD is an additional offender that causes stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. This irritation can create a constant runny nose, and in some people it causes a cough that is worse at night, due in part to gravity. Congestive heart failure, where the function of the heart declines, has a cough that is worse when lying down as its main symptom. When there is no clear cause for a cough, people should seek medical help to rule out conditions such as asthma, GERD, and CHF.

Another cause of night cough is certain medications used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure. In particular, ACE inhibitors such as captopril, lisinopril, and enalapril often cause a cough that may be more active at night. If this interferes with sleep, there are other antihypertensives that could be tried.

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