Causes of a Cough

Most people with a cough have a respiratory tract infection caused by a virus, such as the common cold, flu or bronchitis but there are other reasons for a cough.

Smoke, dust and the drying effect of air conditioning can all irritate the airways enough to bring on a cough, as can an allergic condition known as rhinitis or a medicine that has been prescribed (for example medicines known as ACE-inhibitors which are used to treat high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease).

In children, a persistent cough may indicate a more serious respiratory tract infection such as whooping cough.