Coughs clear the throat of irritants, including microbes and mucus. Most everyone has a cough on occasion but coughs that last may hint at more significant health problems. Usually, acute coughs clear up within a few days to a week, but chronic coughs that last over that typically signal the need for a trip to the doctor. As strange as it seems, common coughs often point to a variety of condition you shouldn’t ignore. Doctors observe the symptoms and types of cough you have to figure out the possible causes. These vary from insignificant issues to fatal illnesses, making it essential to seek medical advice.

1. Smoking

Though smoking is responsible for numerous ill effects, the problems it causes with your respiratory system seem the worst. Smoking often damages the entire respiratory tract, causing permanent damage to the hair-like structures that protect it. This leaves your lungs open to all kinds of irritants, so your body triggers a cough to expel them. Excessive smoking may even result in bloody coughing, and if you don’t quit, could lead to worse conditions, including bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, most of the time a cough caused by smoking goes away after you quit the habit.