What Is a Nervous Cough?


Quick Answer

Nervous cough, or habit cough, is a habitual cough or throat-clearing noise made by a person who is nervous or self-conscious. There is virtually no medical treatment for this type of cough.

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Full Answer

Because nervous cough develops from anxiety, the only real way to treat it is to treat the anxiety. Those who are nervous may also tend to hyperventilate, which may cause coughing. Hyperventilation can also cause anxiety, leading to a cyclical effect between hyperventilation and coughing. Coughing also irritates the nerves that control cough, which may lead to more coughing. Larynogopharyngeal reflux disease, a type of acid reflux, can also lead to chronic coughing.

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