When you cough, it can irritate your throat and cause a metallic taste. It’s a common symptom of colds, sinus infections, and upper respiratory infections.
It can also be caused by a medication you’re taking or an underlying medical condition. It’s important to get it checked out if you notice the taste persisting or it’s associated with other symptoms like fever.
Many people experience a metallic taste when coughing, usually as a result of a cold or other respiratory infection. It’s usually harmless and will go away after the infection is treated. But if you also have fever-like symptoms, it could be a sign of something more serious.
The best way to get rid of a metallic taste when coughing is to see your doctor and rule out more serious conditions. Your doctor may recommend imaging tests or an ENT specialist to identify the cause of your symptoms and determine the right treatment for you.
Aside from a common cold, a metallic taste when coughing can also be caused by certain medications or cancer treatments. Avoid changing from these drugs or replacing them without first talking to a doctor, as doing so can interfere with your treatment and may worsen your symptoms.
Antibiotics (such as tetracycline), lithium, some cardiac medications and allopurinol, which is used to treat gout and kidney stones, can all mess with your taste. They can dry your mouth and muck up the signals sent by your taste buds.
These drugs can also contain heavy metals, such as chromium, copper and zinc, which can affect your taste. Other culprits include cold remedies like zinc lozenges, multivitamins and prenatal vitamins.
Another common cause of a metallic taste when coughing is exercise-induced pulmonary edema, or swelling in the lungs from fluid. This condition can be particularly common in people who have trouble breathing, such as asthma sufferers or new exercisers.
This condition can be triggered by mercury or lead exposure, or it may be a side effect of some prescription medications for heart disease, kidney failure or diabetes. The chemicals are often found in contaminated water or in old building materials.
Fortunately, these taste changes aren’t common, but it’s worth checking with your doctor if you have any of the above symptoms. They may indicate a more serious health issue, such as liver or kidney disease, and should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
You can also help prevent a metallic taste when coughing by drinking plenty of liquids and eating healthy foods. Rinse your mouth with a solution of baking soda and warm water before you eat, which can help regulate the pH balance of your mouth and neutralize acid. Swap out metal cutlery and water bottles for glass, plastic or ceramic versions.
The good news is that this taste is usually just a side effect of the medication you’re taking. However, it’s important to let your doctor know you are experiencing this side effect. If the taste persists, they may want to try switching to a different medication.
If you have a chronic illness, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider about your symptoms so they can get to the root of the problem and find a treatment plan that works for you. Some common examples of this are an autoimmune disease like Sjogren’s syndrome, an inflammatory condition called psoriasis, or a kidney disorder such as chronic kidney disease (CKD).
People who have a recurring cold or upper respiratory infection can experience a metallic taste in their mouth along with coughing. This is most commonly caused by phlegm in the lungs that contains blood, but it can also be caused by a bacterial infection. This can cause a very foul taste, but it will eventually subside with time and rest.
You’ll need to drink plenty of fluids, rest, and take over-the-counter pain relievers for the best results. You can also use decongestants to reduce the congestion.
Some medications can give you a metallic taste in your mouth, especially if you’re just starting to take them. It’s usually a temporary side effect that goes away as your body adjusts to the new medicine.
If the metallic taste persists or you notice other worrisome symptoms, such as a fever or increased swelling, see your doctor right away. They will need to do a physical exam and perform lab tests to determine the root of your problem.
For instance, you may have COVID-19, a type of coronavirus that causes a metallic taste. While this is a rare symptom, it can be very serious, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have the virus.
Other conditions that may cause a metallic taste in your mouth include radiation therapy, cancer treatment, pregnancy, and a severe food allergy. These treatments can damage your oral cells and result in a metallic taste in your mouth, says Bhuyan.
If you’re experiencing a metallic taste when you cough, it’s important to get it checked out. It can be caused by many different things, including infection or disease.
If your cough is being caused by a cold or other respiratory infection, your doctor will likely recommend over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and decongestants to help you feel better and stop your symptoms from worsening. It’s also important to drink lots of fluids so you don’t become dehydrated.
Symptoms of a cold may include sneezing, itchy or runny nose, and watery eyes. It’s also common for people with colds to have a runny or sticky nose that can lead to a foul or metallic taste in the mouth.
Your doctor will also want to know if you’re experiencing any other symptoms, such as a fever or difficulty breathing. They will also check your blood pressure and if you have any other conditions that could be causing the metallic taste.
Some medicines, such as antidepressants and antihistamines, can also cause a metallic taste. Generally, the taste will go away as your body processes these medications.
Another cause of a metallic taste is acid reflux. This happens when stomach acids creep up the esophagus and into the back of your throat, says Dr. Allen. This can damage the taste buds, which is why some people report that they experience a metallic taste after eating acidic foods.
The best way to prevent a metallic taste is to stay hydrated and avoid drinking anything that can cause it, such as coffee or alcohol. You can also rinse your mouth before you eat, using a solution of baking soda and warm water to regulate the pH balance of your mouth and neutralize acid, which will help eliminate the metal taste.
Smoking cigarettes can exacerbate the metallic taste, so you should stop smoking as soon as possible. You can also reduce your intake of salty foods and eat more fruit, vegetables and sweeteners.
Other factors that can contribute to a metallic taste are oral health issues, such as gum disease or tooth decay. In addition, certain medications and vaccines can cause a metallic taste, as can nutritional deficiencies.
If you’re experiencing a metallic taste when coughing, it may indicate an underlying problem. This can be something as simple as a cold or as serious as pneumonia.
If the taste is associated with other symptoms such as fever, it could mean that you need medical attention to treat the underlying issue. However, most people do not need to see a doctor unless their symptoms become severe or last longer than a few days.
The most common reason for a metallic taste when coughing is a respiratory infection, such as a cold or sinus infection. These infections produce phlegm and mucus, and the phlegm can often have a metallic or bitter taste when you cough.
Other causes of a metallic taste when coughing can include certain drugs, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy medications. These drugs can cause a metallic taste in the mouth because they get into your saliva through your throat.
Depending on the drug and your condition, your doctor may prescribe you another medication that doesn’t have this side effect. Alternatively, they can refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist to find out the cause of your problem.
Sometimes, a metallic taste when coughing is triggered by food allergies, especially shellfish and tree nuts. These allergies can be life-threatening if they are not treated.
Pregnancy can also bring about a strange taste in the mouth, but it usually goes away once the baby is born. It’s called dysgeusia and is a result of an increase in estrogen, which can impact your taste buds.
Some medications can also make your mouth feel metallic, but this is not an uncommon side effect and typically only happens when you start taking a new drug. It should go away after your body gets used to the new medication.
It’s also common for women who have breast cancer to experience a metallic taste in their mouths, particularly when undergoing chemotherapy. The taste can be caused by a number of cancer treatments, including radiation therapy.
Other possible causes of a metallic taste when coughing are gum disease or an underlying condition such as Sjogren’s syndrome, which can decrease the amount of saliva in your mouth. This can be very uncomfortable and can make eating or drinking a difficult task.