4 Common Coughing Triggers for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public meeting in September 2014, where people living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) were asked about the daily effects of the disease and the therapies that were available to them.
One of the main themes of the meeting was how coughing affected people living with the condition. More than three-quarters of people attending the meeting said that coughing had a significant effect on their daily lives, with patients reporting episodes of violent coughing, uncontrollable coughing, coughing with thick sticky mucus, and some patients explained how their coughing fits led to shortness of breath, hypoxia, chest and rib pain, sleeping difficulties, and exhaustion.
For the majority of IPF patients, the coughing was usually triggered by one of the following four events:
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Many patients reported that physical activity associated with everyday tasks such as housework, climbing stairs, walking, showering, getting dressed and other activities that led to shortness of breath brought on coughing episodes.
Weather also tended to trigger coughing episodes for many IPF patients, with humidity, high heat and atmospheric pressure responsible for increased coughing.
Talking can often lead to shortness of breath for many people living with IPF, which would then trigger a coughing episode. Expressing other emotions such as laughing or crying could also lead to coughing fits.
Dust, secondhand cigarette smoke, overpowering odors, problems with swallowing food, and chest discomfort were also cited as triggers for coughing fits. Many IPF patients said their coughing was worse at certain times of the day.
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