You have been so great about your new exercise routine, rarely missing a day since you started up again. Then all of a sudden you are waylaid by a cold or flu.
What should you do? Should you skip the treadmill or forsake that Pilates class for a late afternoon nap? Will it be hard to get started again if you skip a day or two?
A cough is supposed to protect you. It gets out stuff that doesn't belong in your lungs and windpipe, like inhaled dirt or food. Here are the common triggers.
Viruses. Colds and the flu are the most common causes. While annoying, coughs that are “productive” get germy mucus out of your lungs when you're sick. Most will go away in a few days. After a cold, though, some "dry" coughs last weeks or months. That could be because coughing irritates your lungs, which leads to more coughing, which irritates your lungs, and so on ...
Allergies and asthma. If you have them, inhaling a trigger like mold can cause your lungs to overreact. They're trying to cough out what’s bothering them.
Irritants. Even if you're not allergic, things like cold air, cigarette smoke, or strong perfumes, can set off a hacking spell.