Reasons For a Cough That Comes and Goes

April 26, 2024

A persistent cough can be disruptive and uncomfortable, impacting your daily activities and overall well-being. While some coughs are acute and resolve on their own, others may come and go, leaving you questioning the underlying cause. Understanding the reasons for a cough that comes and goes is essential for effective management and treatment. In this blog, we’ll explore some common factors that may contribute to this intermittent coughing pattern.

For same-day cough relief, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen. Our board-certified medical providers are available 7 days a week to diagnose and treat symptoms. Simply walk-in today!

Six Reasons For a Cough That Comes and Goes

Respiratory Infections

Acute respiratory infections, such as the common cold, flu, or bronchitis, are among the most common causes of a cough that comes and goes. These infections typically start with a few days of intense coughing, followed by a period of improvement as the body fights off the virus. However, coughing may return or worsen if the infection lingers or if a secondary infection develops. It’s essential to practice good hygiene, get plenty of rest, and stay hydrated to help your body recover from respiratory infections.


Allergic reactions to pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or other allergens can trigger a cough that comes and goes, especially during certain times of the year or in specific environments. Allergy-related coughs are often accompanied by other symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes. Identifying and avoiding allergens, as well as using allergy medications like antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids, can help manage allergy cough symptoms.


Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. Chronic coughing that worsens after eating, lying down, or bending over may be a symptom of GERD-related cough. Lifestyle changes such as avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals, and elevating the head of your bed can help reduce GERD symptoms.

Postnasal Drip

Postnasal drip occurs when excess mucus drains from the sinuses into the back of the throat, leading to throat irritation and coughing. This condition may be caused by allergies, sinus infections, or other nasal conditions. Managing underlying nasal issues with saline nasal sprays, decongestants, or antihistamines can help alleviate postnasal drip and associated coughing.

Environmental Factors

Exposure to environmental irritants like smoke, pollution, or strong odors can trigger coughing episodes that come and go. Avoiding exposure to these irritants, using air purifiers, and maintaining good indoor air quality can help reduce coughing that’s related to environmental factors.

When To Seek Medical Attention

Knowing when to seek medical attention for a cough that comes and goes is crucial for ensuring timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment. While some mild coughs can resolve on their own, others may indicate underlying health issues that require professional evaluation. If your cough persists for more than a week or keeps coming back despite home remedies, it’s advisable to seek medical guidance. Additionally, if your cough gets progressively worse over time, or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or coughing up blood, seek professional attention. A healthcare provider can evaluate your symptoms, perform any necessary tests, and recommend appropriate treatment to address your cough.

Get Walk-In Cough Relief at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen

Are you dealing with a cough that comes and goes? Come visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen for a same-day diagnosis and treatment plan. Our urgent care center is open seven days a week. Appointments are never required to be seen by a board-certified healthcare provider. Just stop by to start recovering fast. Our facility accepts most health insurance plans and offers low-cost options for self-paying patients. If you have any additional questions about cough treatment, or other services we provide, please contact us directly at (732) 583-5100.

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