Allergic cough is a specific form of bronchial asthma. The insidiousness of the disease lies in the fact that it can very easily be confused with colds of the respiratory tract.
What is an allergic cough?
An allergic cough is one of the body's reactions to a malfunctioning immune system. Most often, allergies are caused by various proteins. It can be animal saliva, some kind of food product, saliva, pollen and much more. In addition to proteins, other substances that can bind to a protein and change its structure can also cause allergies. If the immune system is impaired, then the bronchi begin to react to the allergen incorrectly. They do not constrict when air with an allergen enters, but try to push it out of the body. As a result, the person begins to cough.
For the first time, an allergic cough can appear at any age. Even if in childhood a person did not have an allergy to anything, it is not a fact that it cannot appear in adulthood.
Physicians' statistics are not encouraging. Every year the number of people with allergies only increases. In the course of many surveys, specialists have several very significant conclusions:
- Allergies most often occur in those children who have had to take antibiotics in infancy.
- If the family has pets, then the risk of allergies in children is reduced.
- A perfectly clean home can contribute to allergies in children. As a result of the fact that the body does not see a real danger for the child in the form of dust and dirt, he begins to train, reacting to harmless substances.
- Some experts are convinced that the increase in allergy sufferers is associated with food. If you look at the composition of most products, then it is replete with chemical flavors, flavor enhancers and preservatives.
What are the causes of allergic cough?
An allergic cough occurs when certain particles from the air enter the airways. As a result, the immune system is activated, swelling or irritation of the mucous membrane occurs, and a cough appears.
Allergic cough can occur due to:
- Household allergens. Most often they are any aerosols used in everyday life (hairsprays, sprays, cleaning agents and air fresheners), cosmetics (powders, blush, highlighters and eye shadow), dust, house mites and cigarette smoke.
- Pollen of certain flowers and trees.
- Spore of mushrooms. Most often, mold can cause a reaction, but there are also types of allergies when a cough occurs as a result of spores from any outdoor mushrooms.
- Particles of the epidermis of animals. Allergies can be caused by wool, skin particles, down, feathers, animal dander and insect bites.
- Certain drugs given intravenously, intramuscularly, or orally.
- Food products. This is especially true for chocolate, tropical fruits, honey, nuts and seafood.
There are also known cases of an allergic reaction among workers at work.
What are the symptoms of allergic cough in adults?
Due to the fact that the allergen is not always known, allergic cough is easily confused with colds. This is typical during contact with an allergen and the appearance of a runny nose. If the cough is caused by an allergen, then the body temperature does not rise, but remains normal. Also, the patient does not have fever, chills and increased sweating at night. An allergic cough can be easily distinguished from a cold by the following:
- General weakness is possible with both allergic and cold coughs. But a striking difference in the allergic nature of the appearance is the absence of symptoms such as nausea and decreased appetite.
- Allergic cough most often has a paroxysmal character. Most often, exacerbation occurs at night.
- In addition to the cough itself, if there was contact with an allergen, the likelihood of a rash and itching on the skin is high.
- During an allergic cough, there is a feeling that something tickles or tickles in the throat.
- The cough can last for more than seven days.
- Allergic cough is most often dry. When the seizures are over, phlegm may drain. But it has a transparent color. If the sputum after coughing is purulent, then the patient's cough has a viral or infectious etiology.
Symptoms of allergic cough in children
In young children, most diseases progress more rapidly. This is due to the anatomy of the child. The airway is much shorter than that of an adult. And the blood supply of a young organism is somewhat stronger than that of middle-aged people. If you suddenly have an allergic reaction, then the child's airways suddenly swell. The baby's mucous membrane increases in volume and suffocation may occur. This situation is critical and requires an ambulance. Many household and medicinal products, as well as food, can cause allergies in infants. To reduce the risk of allergies, all foods are introduced to the baby gradually, at first in small quantities. And only after making sure that there is no allergy to the product, you can give it in normal quantities. In children, an allergic cough can be diagnosed by the following:
- Transparent snot may come out of the nose.
- As with adults, children with an allergic cough may produce clear sputum.
- A baby may have tears for no reason.
- By nightfall, the baby's condition worsens. During the day, coughing may be minimal or absent.
- In addition to cough, dermatitis or a rash can be diagnosed.
- If a child takes antihistamines such as "Erius", "Suprastin" or "Fenistil", then his condition will improve dramatically.
All of the above signs are indirect. Only a doctor will be able to diagnose an allergic reaction of the body by conducting the following examinations:
- When donating venous blood, an increase in immunoglobulin E is found.
- In a clinical blood test, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate will be within normal limits. The number of eosinophils increases dramatically. Its figure is above the 5% mark.
- After examining the patient's throat, the therapist or pediatrician will not see plaque on the tonsils, thick snot flowing down the back of the throat and redness.
Allergic cough treatment
If the doctor diagnoses allergic rhinitis, then the treatment is prescribed in two directions. They are the same in children and adults. First of all, it is necessary to determine what causes an allergic reaction in a person. Further, it is necessary, if possible, to protect the patient from contact with the allergen. If you cannot identify the product causing the allergen, then you must perform the following steps:
- Remove all possible allergens from the diet. Most often, allergens include foods that are bright yellow, orange or red. The patient should not eat citrus fruits, nuts, honey, seafood. In addition, it is necessary to reduce the amount of consumed spices as much as possible. Ideally, you should try not to even add salt, sugar and pepper to your food.
- If you have an animal at home, you may have to give it away. If the allergy is caused by particles of the epithelium or saliva of a domestic dog or cat, then in order to keep it at home, the patient will have to constantly take antihistamines. It is also necessary to remove animal feed as far as possible.
- It is necessary to carry out a general cleaning. Remove carpets from the room, replace the feather pillow and blanket with synthetic winterizer, which are considered hypoallergenic.
- All things must be washed with either laundry soap or baby powder.The manifestation of an allergic reaction to these household products is very rare.
- All decorative cosmetics will have to be removed until the cough is completely gone.
In addition to all of the above actions, the patient will have to undergo drug therapy in order to cure the cough and prevent complications in the form of bronchospasm or asthma. It is possible that allergies occur at certain times of the year. This type of allergy is called hay fever. It is more common if the immune system reacts incorrectly to seasonal phenomena. For example, if a person is allergic to pollen, then in winter he is unlikely to cough, but in the spring the allergy can sharply worsen, and the patient will cough, sneeze and feel a stuffy nose until he starts taking medication.
Among medicines, there are two types of antihistamines: long-acting and short-acting. The first includes "Suprastin", "Zyrtec" and "Diazolin". And the experts refer to the second type as "Erius", "Tsetrin" and "Zodak".
It is imperative to take the sorbent between meals. The most famous drugs that can accelerate the elimination of the allergen from the body are "Atoxil", "Enterosgel", "Activated Carbon" or "White Coal".
As far as possible, it is necessary to rinse the nose and do inhalation with saline.
If, as a result of an allergic reaction, the patient complains of shortness of breath, then the doctors may prescribe inhalations with drugs such as "Berodual", "Euphyllin" or "Pulmicort". To relieve a cough, a pediatrician may prescribe "Sinekod". It is easier to give drops to small children than to make them breathe in a nebulizer.
In critical situations, emergency doctors can inject an allergic drug "Prednisol" or "Dexamethasone" to normalize breathing.
After the doctors have stopped the disease, the process of determining the allergen and carrying out specific immunotherapy begins. In order for the body to begin to behave correctly, specialists will first intradermally and later subcutaneously inject the allergen, constantly increasing the dosage.