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Who Is At Risk for Cough?

People at risk for cough include those who:

  • Are exposed to things that irritate their airways (called irritants) or things that they're allergic to (called allergens). Examples of irritants are cigarette smoke, air pollution, paint fumes, and scented products. Examples of allergens are dust, animal dander, mold, and pollens from trees, grasses, and flowers.
  • Have certain conditions that irritate the lungs, such as asthma, sinus infections, colds, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • Smoke. Smoking can irritate your lungs and cause coughing. Smoking and/or exposure to secondhand smoke also can lead to medical conditions that can cause a cough.
  • Take certain medicines, such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers. ACE inhibitors are used to treat high blood pressure (HBP). Beta blockers are used to treat HBP, migraine headaches, and glaucoma.

Women are more likely than men to develop a chronic cough. For more information about the substances and conditions that put you at risk for cough, go to "What Causes Cough?"

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Last Updated: October 1, 2010