Can Snoring Cause Dry Cough?



Last updated: February 9th, 2024
Can Snoring Cause Dry Cough Understanding the Connection

Can Snoring Cause Dry Cough?

Many are curious if their nighttime snoring could be the culprit behind a dry cough. Directly put, can snoring cause dry cough? The answer is yes, as snoring can indeed cause dry cough by irritating the upper airway. This irritant leads to a dry cough as a common symptom and may be tied to conditions such as Upper Airway Cough Syndrome (UACS). In this discussion, we’ll delve into how snoring influences dry coughs and how managing one could ease the other.

Key Takeaways

Snoring may cause physical trauma and inflammation to the upper airway, leading to chronic cough especially with conditions like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) during sleep, or nocturnal reflux, can significantly contribute to coughing due to upper esophageal irritation. Management of allergic rhinitis, including avoiding allergens and using medication like antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids, can reduce cough symptoms related to post-nasal drip.

The Connection Between Snoring and Dry Cough

Far from being just an annoyance to those sharing your bed, snoring might indicate a deeper health concern. Snoring occurs when airflow through the mouth and nose is physically obstructed. This obstruction can be influenced by various factors, including nasal and sinus problems, being overweight, or simply the way you’re built. You might wonder how this connects to a dry cough? It turns out, there’s a correlation between chronic cough and snoring due to irritation in the upper airway. This association can be related to conditions such as Upper Airway Cough Syndrome (UACS). Moreover, sleep apnea, specifically obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is frequently observed in individuals with chronic cough. OSA results in disrupted breathing during sleep, which may trigger or worsen a chronic cough. Furthermore, a cough may result from airway inflammation, which can be caused by various factors including environmental elements like air pollution and medical conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).

Upper Airway Irritation

Snoring isn’t merely a bothersome sound that fills the night. It has the potential to: elevate upper airway resistance induce weakening of muscle tone in the intercostal and pharyngeal muscles cause physical trauma cause peripheral nerve injuries. Additionally, snoring may contribute to upper airway collapse and flow restriction, ultimately leading to sleep apnea in patients with obstructive sleep. This results in upper airway injury and inflammation, which in turn leads to throat irritation and a subsequent dry cough reflex. The direct link between snoring and upper airway irritation therefore provides a clear explanation for why snorers often wake up with a dry cough. The physical trauma caused by chronic snoring leads to inflammation and irritation that the body responds to by triggering a cough reflex.

Sleep Apnea and Chronic Cough

Sleep apnea, a common reason for snoring, plays a role in chronic cough. It does so through numerous mechanisms such as: Inflaming the airway Causing repeated instances of airway blockage Raising levels of inflammatory substances like interleukin-6, interferon-gamma, and interleukin-8 This can also be seen in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Symptoms such as snoring, nocturnal cough, and unexplained chronic cough, particularly when traditional investigations and treatment trials are ineffective, can indicate the presence of sleep apnea in patients. In addition, it has been reported that the prevalence of OSA is notably high in patients with chronic cough. This highlights the potential connection between the two conditions.. Indeed, CPAP therapy has been documented to be effective for OSA-related cough. It plays a role in: improving the underlying airway inflammation addressing chronic nocturnal cough, especially in the supine position potentially.


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