Post-viral cough can be resistant to treatment. Post-viral cough usually goes away on its own; however, cough suppressants containing codeine may be prescribed. A study has claimed theobromine in dark chocolate is more effective.  Inhaled steroids may work in some patients. [ citation needed ] Running or increased cardiovascular activity can help clear the respiratory tract. [ citation needed ] Often the cause is post-nasal drip , [ citation needed ] and so nasal steroids or pseudoephedrine might also be helpful.
Coughing helps to clear foreign substances from your lungs and keep your upper air passages clear. A chronic cough is defined as a cough that lasts more than 8 weeks (or 4 weeks for children) and is one of the most common complaints addressed in family medicine. Typically chronic coughs are symptoms of other disorders, including asthma, allergies, acid reflux or sinus problems. A chronic cough may also be the result of smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke or an infectious disease. If left untreated, a chronic cough can lead to complications such as headaches, dizziness, urinary incontinence, fractured ribs, sore abdominal muscles, excessive sweating, and even conditions such as COPD or emphysema. Healing a chronic cough depends largely on identifying and treating the underlying cause of the cough. If you have a chronic cough, see your doctor: while it's usually not a serious symptom, it can be a sign of serious diseases including lung cancer.
Acute bronchitis, as the term implies, is a lower respiratory tract syndrome and another common source of acute cough. It manifests as a persistent cough, with or without sputum production, in patients with a normal chest radiograph. Although it is much less prevalent than the common cold, acute bronchitis is the most common diagnosis given to patients presenting to a physician with acute cough. It is caused by a respiratory virus more than 90% of the time. Viral cultures and serologic assays are not routinely ordered; hence, the organism responsible is rarely identified.