Post COVID Cough and Treatment: What You Need to Know

Post COVID cough is a condition that affects many people who have recovered from COVID-19. It is a persistent cough that lasts longer than three weeks after the infection has cleared. Post COVID cough can be caused by various factors, such as inflammation, nerve damage, or lung scarring. It can also interfere with your daily activities, your work productivity, and your social life. In this article, we will explore the causes, treatments, and complications of post COVID cough.

Causes of Post COVID Cough

A post COVID cough can have different causes, depending on the severity and duration of the infection, the extent of lung damage, and the individual’s immune response. Some of the possible causes are:

  • Postnasal drip: This is when the inflamed nasal passages and sinuses produce excess mucus that drips down the back of the throat, triggering a cough reflex.
  • Lower respiratory tract inflammation: This is when the lungs and airways remain swollen and irritated after the infection, causing a dry or productive cough.
  • Neural pathway sensitization: This is when the nerves that control the cough reflex become more sensitive and overreact to stimuli such as dust, smoke, or cold air.
  • Interstitial lung disease: This is a rare but serious complication of COVID-19 that causes scarring and fibrosis of the lung tissue, leading to chronic cough and shortness of breath.

Treatment Options for Post COVID Cough

The treatment for a post COVID cough depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the symptoms. Some of the general measures that can help relieve a post COVID cough are:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated¹²³
  • Using over-the-counter cough medicines or lozenges²⁵
  • Using nasal sprays or inhalers that contain steroids or bronchodilators¹²
  • Avoiding irritants such as tobacco smoke, pollution, or allergens¹²
  • Practicing breathing exercises or chest physiotherapy¹²
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs or supplements such as ibuprofen or turmeric³⁴

When to See a Doctor for Post COVID Cough Treatment

If your cough persists for more than three weeks after recovering from COVID-19, you should see a doctor for further evaluation¹². You should also seek medical attention if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Fever, chills, or night sweats
  • Coughing up blood or green-yellow sputum
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Unintentional weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or weakness

These could indicate a more serious condition such as a secondary infection, a blood clot, or lung fibrosis.


A post COVID cough is a common and bothersome symptom that can last for weeks or months after recovering from COVID-19. It can have different causes and require different treatments depending on the individual case. The best way to prevent a post COVID cough is to avoid getting infected in the first place by following the public health guidelines such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and getting vaccinated. If you have a post COVID cough, you should consult your doctor for advice and treatment options.

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