Cough can be defined as a reflex that is a result of the stimulation of lining of the throat, nose, lungs or voice box. It is a normal defence mechanism of the body. Depending on the causes, most of the coughs can be classified as those caused owing to infections and the allergic cough that is caused owing to an allergen. Allergens are harmless substances that are mistakenly identified as intruder by one’s immune system.
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever or allergic cough, is generally a result of immune system responding to allergen by discharging histamine and chemical mediators. It may be triggered with pollen carried in the air at different times of a year during the seasonal change or it might also be a result of indoor allergens like droppings from dust mites, cockroach particles, urine and saliva found on pet dander and dried skin flakes. Other factors triggering it includes chemicals, humidity, cigarette smoke, cold temperatures, air pollution, wind, perfumes, hairspray, wood smoke and fumes.
Allergic rhinitis can either be perennial (throughout the year) or seasonal. A person might have to undergo a simple skin prick test or radioallergosorbent test (RAST) that measures the amount of immunoglobin E (IgE) antibodies to particular allergens for the diagnosis of the issue. Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis include coughing; sneezing; runny, itchy or stuffy nose; dark under-eye circles; constant headaches; immense fatigue; and itchy and watery eyes amongst others. The best way to manage the issue is by preventing it by taking the required medication before the circumstances like the seasonal change arises.
If the condition of a person suffering from allergic cough worsens then he might have to undergo a long-term treatment. This issue might go to the extent of development of sinusitis, where an inflamed nasal passage causes breathing difficulties and pain or asthma.
Cough seems to be a nominal disease to most of the people and they tend to ignore it forgetting the fact that chronic cough might be a symptom of or might lead to hazardous diseases like tuberculosis. Getting a disease diagnosed at the right time and taking the curative and ahead the preventive measures and medicines to deal with it can help one avoid its disastrous effects.
Dr. Avni Deshmukh is an expert medical consultant in Mumbai (India). To know more about allergic rhinitis , cure and treatment of Asthma, Cough etc for adults and children.