Can Allergies Cause a Cough?

Yes, allergies can indeed cause coughing. This type of cough is often referred to as an “allergic cough” or “allergic asthma cough.” Allergies can trigger several respiratory symptoms, including coughing, due to the body’s immune response to allergens. Here’s how allergies can lead to a cough:

  • Allergic Rhinitis: Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, is an allergic reaction to airborne allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or mold spores. When you inhale these allergens, your body’s immune system releases histamines, which can lead to symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, and a postnasal drip. The postnasal drip, in particular, can irritate the throat and trigger coughing.
  • Allergic Asthma: Allergic asthma is a type of asthma triggered by allergens. When allergens like pollen, mold, or pet dander come into contact with the airways, they can cause inflammation and narrowing of the air passages. This can result in coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
  • Environmental Irritants: Allergic individuals may also be more sensitive to environmental irritants like smoke, pollution, or strong odors, which can trigger coughing in the presence of these irritants.

If you suspect that your cough is related to allergies, it’s essential to identify the specific allergens that trigger your symptoms. You can consult an allergist for allergy testing to determine your specific allergen triggers. Once identified, you can take steps to avoid these allergens and may also receive treatment options, such as antihistamines, decongestants, or allergy shots (immunotherapy), to manage your allergy symptoms and associated cough. If you have a persistent or severe cough, it’s important to seek medical advice to rule out other underlying causes and receive appropriate treatment.