A cough is the body’s reaction to an irritant in the airways.
The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute mentions possible cough triggers:
- Allergens, such as dust, dander, pollen or mold.
- Irritants, such as cigarette smoke or substances with a strong fragrance, such as air fresheners or perfumes.
- A medical condition, such as the common cold, pneumonia or the flu.
- A long-term medical condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), lung cancer, heart failure or asthma.
- A side effect of medication, including beta blockers and ACE inhibitors.