What Causes a Tickly Cough?


Quick Answer

A tickly cough has a variety of causes including infections, such as the common cold and whooping cough, as well as congestive heart failure and lung cancer, according to Healthgrades. A tickly cough is typically caused by an upper airway infection that follows a cold.

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What Causes a Tickly Cough?
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Full Answer

The common cold is a viral infection that is transmitted through airborne droplets or contact with an infected person, notes MedicineNet. The infection is typically caused by the rhinovirus, which accounts for 10 to 40 percent of all colds. Patients with the common cold experience symptoms such as coughing, watery eyes, sore throat, runny nose and nasal congestion.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that results in repeated bouts of coughing, explains Cleveland Clinic. The infection is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium, which is transmitted through airborne droplets that are released by infected individuals. Early symptoms of whooping cough include mild coughing and slight fever, which progress to violent coughing episodes and vomiting after the first few weeks.

Congestive heart failure develops when the heart is unable to pump a sufficient amount of blood, according to Healthline. The condition results in a buildup of blood and other fluids inside the liver, abdomen, lungs and lower body. Patients with congestive heart failure experience symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and coughing.

Lung cancer is commonly caused by smoking and takes several years to develop, notes Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms of advanced lung cancer include shortness of breath, coughing and weight loss.

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