How can a chronic cough be prevented?

It’s possible to lower your risk for chronic cough.

The following steps may help:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have respiratory tract infections.
  • Keep your hands clean, especially in autumn and winter, when flu and cold germs do the rounds.
  • Keep your immune system healthy: follow a balanced diet, exercise most days of the week, and get 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Get your annual flu shot.
  • Maintain good asthma control.
  • Seek treatment for allergies and post-nasal drip.
  • If you have tuberculosis (TB), it’s important to take your medication exactly as prescribed.
  • Get treatment for acid reflux.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke and other irritants.

Reviewed by Professor Richard van Zyl-Smit, Head of the Lung Clinical Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. MBChB, MRCP(UK), Dip HIV(Man), MMED, FCP(SA), Cert Pulm(SA), PhD. February 2018.


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