Flu, COVID-19 and cold symptoms | Why do I cough more at night?

Cough is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical attention. Doctors said the symptoms “are not cause for alarm in most cases, especially acute symptoms, which are those lasting less than four weeks”. Cinfa, Julio Maset warns, however, that “there are many types of coughs, depending on their frequency or intensity, which can be very annoying and greatly affect the quality of life of cough sufferers.”

According to the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR), cough is a common symptom of various diseases and allergies, with an annual prevalence ranging from 10% to 30%. Coughing is a protective reflex behavior that functions to expel foreign objects or secretions that may irritate the bronchi, trachea, or larynx, such as impurities, gases, tobacco smoke, bacteria, supercooled or superheated air, or food particles.

The most common causes of acute cough are upper respiratory tract infections, such as colds, pharyngitis, acute bronchitis, but also pneumonia, exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or postnasal drip, such as the consequences of sinusitis. Conditions that cause chronic cough include chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), and postnasal drip. Likewise, different types of allergies can cause coughs with different characteristics.

On the other hand, “a nighttime cough may be perceived as more bothersome or felt more intensely when we are in a period of rest. Often, coughs seem to increase or worsen because of the horizontal position we take while sleeping, which can cause discomfort in the upper respiratory tract (e.g. (pharynx) narrows as secretions accumulate in the back of the throat, triggering a cough. Regardless, this symptom can make it difficult to get a restful night’s rest, which can disrupt the body’s natural ability to recover, especially if the cough is When caused by a disease. Therefore, a lack of restful sleep can aggravate, worsen or make the condition chronic,” the expert explains.

Likewise, sleep deprivation from persistent coughing at night can lead to decreased concentration, irritability, decreased energy, fatigue, and changes in behavior and mood during the day.

Likewise, environmental factors, such as the humidity in your bedroom, can influence the intensity of your nighttime cough. «Both high temperatures in the summer and heating in the winter can cause the air in a room to dry out. In this case, measures such as avoiding high temperatures and using a humidifier in the bedroom can help reduce the severity of the cough at night,” adds Masset.

But experts assure that the cause of the cough also needs to be treated, whether chronic or acute. «If the cough is very annoying and interferes with a good night’s rest, if the cough is chronic or has symptoms of asthma or bronchitis, the best option is to see our GP who will prescribe the most appropriate treatment. We cannot give up rest because of a cough. If it’s a cold or seasonal allergies, our pharmacy is also able to provide us with solutions for every type of cough. ” he concluded.

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