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27 years
It's been a week I've been coughing a lot at night. During the day, I have no symptoms whatsoever. What to do?
May 30, 2015

Dr. Zakia Dimassi Pediatrics
Nighttime cough that persists for some time may be due to a number of possible causes:
- Smoking (active or 1st hand, or passive or 2nd hand).
- Asthma: if you're a known asthmatic and have been exposed to some trigger. There is also a condition similar to asthma, what we call an asthma variant, such cough variant asthma, which also produces nighttime persistent cough
- GERD: stands for gastro-esophageal reflux disease, whereby you get heartburn, morning acid flux and bitter mouth taste especially in the back of the mouth, hoarseness. This usually results because the lower esophageal sphincter may not be functioning properly. Usually this sphincter, which is a muscular ring-like structure, contracts when the stomach is full to prevent stomach content from going backwards into the esophagus.
-Postnasal drip: following a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, the residual secretions that may accumulate in the sinuses and are not expelled go backwards and irritate the larynx (voice box) inducing the cough reflex.
-Environmental pollution
-Occupational exposure to irritants: at work or even at home. Odors of fresh paint is an example.
-Whooping cough: also known as pertussis. We're usually vaccinated against this bacteria early in childhood, but recently it has been shown that the protective effect of this vaccine wears off with time and so we may contract this infection from children.
-Certain medications: namely a medication for the treatment of high blood pressure, known as Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, are notorious for causing cough.
You need to get a proper and thorough assessment in order to pinpoint the exact cause of your cough and manage accordingly.