What symptoms accompany a lingering cough?

So you’ve had a cold, and you’re starting to feel better – your throat isn’t sore anymore, your nose has stopped dripping – but that pesky dry cough just keeps lingering. This lingering cough can really get in the way of your day, interrupting those important work meetings or keeping you from getting back into your gym routine, not to mention getting in the way of a good night’s sleep – leaving you feeling tired and lacking your usual oomph. 

Coughing is a natural response to help protect your airways. This uncontrollable – involuntary – cough reflex is triggered when nerves in your airways are stimulated. And so many things can set off these nerves! As well as infections and allergies, things in the air such as smoke or dust plus normal body fluids such as mucus can all irritate these nerves and make you cough.

These triggers often cause what’s called an ‘acute’ cough, which usually gets better on its own within a few weeks. But sometimes, at the end of a common cold, a dry cough can stick around or ‘linger’ for a little longer. As well as triggers, a lingering cough after a common cold also involves what’s called upper airway hypersensitivity. Basically, this means that your cough nerves have become over sensitive to the slightest of triggers, and are over firing cough messages to the brain, giving you this maddening and continuing urge to cough.

What are possible causes for a lingering cough?

The most common cause of a lingering cough is a viral infection of the respiratory tract, such as the common cold. Coughs that accompany the common cold often linger long after the other acute symptoms of the infection have eased.

Treatment options for a lingering cough

So you fought that cold and you’re feeling much better, but that nagging, lingering dry cough is a constant reminder that you’re not quite back to your best. What are your options to help you get there?

When you’re on the mend after a cold, help switch off your lingering dry cough with DURO-TUSS®  Lingering Cough Liquid, available in 200mL and 350mL. Formulated with Marshmallow which has been traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to soothe an irritated throat and associated dry cough, Ivy Leaf extract (Hedera helix) to clear lingering congestion, and Zinc to help support a healthy immune system, DURO-TUSS Lingering Cough Liquid can help relieve that nagging cough.

For a lingering cough that isn’t associated with the common cold, please speak to your health professional for advice.

Whatever the type of cough you have, the DURO-TUSS range of cough liquids, tablets, and lozenges can help you switch it off.

These medicines may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. DURO-TUSS Lingering Cough liquid is for use in association with the common cold. Marshmallow has been traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to soothe an irritated throat and associated dry cough.

When to see a doctor

But what do you do when that cough is still lingering, or you start experiencing other symptoms and you just can’t seem to get back to normal? You should see a doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Coughing up blood or lots of mucus
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Unexplained weight loss, weakness, or fatigue

But remember to always speak to your doctor or a pharmacist if you have any concerns about your lingering cough, or any other symptoms.

If you have cold & flu symptoms, you should get tested and follow health advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx

Lingering cough FAQs

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Consider using a demulcent such as Marshmallow which has been traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to soothe an irritated throat and help relieve an associated dry cough.

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Speak to your doctor if your lingering cough gets worse or persists or you experience any worrying symptoms, and if you have any concerns about your cough.

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Lingering coughs often develop after a common cold once other symptoms have cleared. 

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Lingering coughs are often associated with upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold, so it’s always important to practice good hygiene whenever you cough to limit the spread of any germs.