What Could Cause a Nighttime Cough? continued...
If you're pretty healthy except for your nighttime cough, you can work on your symptoms at home and then follow up with your doctor as needed.
These are some of the most common causes for a nighttime cough and what you can try:
Heartburn. If you have heartburn, lying down can cause coughing if stomach acid leaks into and up your esophagus. "A tiny amount of acid gets into the back of the throat, which causes enough irritation to cause a cough," Senior says. You could try an over-the-counter heartburn product first, and then see your doctor if that doesn't help.
Allergies. If you only cough at night, you may be allergic to something in your home, like dust mites. "There are dust mites in pillows and blankets," Senior says. Try washing bedding in hot water once a week and use pillow and mattress covers. If you think you have an allergy, you could try an over-the-counter allergy medicine and see your doctor if you want an allergy test.
Asthma. If yours gets worse at night, it can make you cough. Check on your triggers. "It may be [triggered by] dust in the mattress or putting your head where the cat has been lying all day," Cooke says.
Some blood-pressure drugs. Blood pressure drugs called ACE inhibitors can cause cough in some people who take them. You could ask your doctor about whether you might try switching to another type of blood pressure drug.
Don't stop taking your medication before you talk to your doctor.
Smoking can also make you cough. If you smoke, do everything you can to quit and ask your doctor for help. Also, avoid other people's secondhand smoke.