In school, you learned that coughing was your body's way of getting rid of foreign irritants. Though it serves this good function, coughing often becomes an irritant itself, especially as it becomes chronic. It's a cause of discomfort with broad consequences. To learn more about how a chronic cough impacts your quality of life, read this short guide.
Constant Coughing Exhausts You
Coughing is a violent act. Muscles in your abdomen and throat tense to make it happen. When you cough hundreds of times a day, these muscles get tired. In some cases, as your abdominal muscles grow weak, you cannot police your bladder effectively, which contributes to urinary incontinence. There are ways to cope with incontinence, but a persistent cough may prevent you from experiencing substantial relief.
Apart from just your muscles, chronic coughing impacts your quality of life by exhausting you and limiting activities in which you participate. You're less likely to go on a run or walk if you feel fatigued from it. In turn, you may experience a loss of freedom.
It's a Social Hazard
Chronic coughing may also have a social cost. You may experience further limitations as you steer clear of quiet venues such as plays and movies. You may enjoy these things, but you avoid the embarrassment of a coughing attack by staying home.
In the last couple months, you have the added dilemma of what to do in public as the coronavirus pandemic surges. One of its hallmark symptoms is a dry cough, something you exhibit all the time. Even though you may not have the virus, trips to the grocery store may stress you out more than ever before. Whether you want to or not, coughing attracts others' side-eyes as they perceive you as a threat to their health.
It Damages Throat Tissue
Last in our list is the physical damage your throat can sustain. As you tense your throat muscles repeatedly, coughing affects your throat by inflaming this tissue. In turn, it becomes more susceptible to debilitating infections. Throat soreness decreases your quality of life, while occasional sicknesses level you for a time. Each is uncomfortable.
If you have further questions about how your chronic cough could affect you, talk to your personal doctor. Cough severity and consequences vary by person, so they're your best source of information and medical care.