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A Metallic Taste When I Cough Can Be a Symptom of Something More Serious

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metallic taste when i cough

A metallic taste when you cough can be a sign of an upper respiratory infection. It’s usually gone once the infection clears up, but don’t ignore it if it persists and isn’t linked to other symptoms.

A metallic mouth can also be a symptom of other illnesses, such as kidney or liver problems, undiagnosed diabetes and certain cancers. But it’s rare, and typically accompanied by other symptoms.

Causes

A metallic taste when you cough can be a sign of a serious health condition. This is why it’s important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible.

This is especially true when the symptom doesn’t go away or recurs. It can indicate a condition that needs treatment, such as a respiratory infection or cancer.

The most common cause of a metallic taste when you cough is an upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold. You might also be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acid or bile flows back up into your food pipe.

Antibiotics are a good first line of treatment for sinus or respiratory infections. They can also help relieve symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose, and cough.

Pregnancy, allergies, and dry mouth are other common causes of a metallic taste when you cough. Getting your diet checked by a doctor can help identify any underlying issues and prevent them from happening in the future.

Some medications, such as antibiotics and lithium, can also cause a metallic taste in your mouth. It’s important to take these drugs only as directed by your doctor.

Vitamins and over-the-counter cold remedies can also give you a metallic taste. This is because some vitamins and cold medicines contain heavy metals, such as copper, chromium, and zinc. Other supplements, including prenatal vitamins, calcium, and iron, can also trigger this side effect.

Certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can lead to a metallic taste in your mouth. This can be particularly noticeable if you’re receiving treatments for cancers of the head and neck.

A COVID vaccination, which is given to people who are at risk of contracting coronavirus infections, can also cause a metallic taste when you cough. This is a known side effect of the vaccine and is usually harmless, but it’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor if this occurs.

Another reason why you might experience a metallic taste when you cough is from exposure to chemical elements, such as mercury or lead. These substances are found in old building materials, contaminated water, and some foods. You can’t avoid these elements in your environment, but you can protect yourself from them by avoiding contaminated water, eating fresh fish, and staying away from old paint and metal utensils.

Symptoms

A metallic taste when you cough may seem like a harmless symptom, but it can be a sign of something more serious. It can indicate a health problem such as infection, or it can be a side effect of medications you’re taking.

The most common reason for this symptom is upper respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu. These viral infections can cause a metallic taste when you cough because phlegm can get into your mouth and onto the taste buds. This symptom usually goes away as the cough clears up, but it’s best to see your doctor to ensure that you don’t have an underlying condition.

Another possible reason for this symptom is GERD, which is a condition that affects more than 3 million people in the United States each year. This chronic medical condition causes stomach acid to flow up into the food pipe, causing pain and irritation.

Medications such as antibiotics, antihistamines and blood pressure medication can also cause a metallic taste in the mouth. This is because the chemicals released by these drugs are excreted in your saliva.

Other causes of a metallic taste when you cough include sinus and respiratory infections that drain mucus down the back of your throat. Once these infections are cleared up, the resulting changes in your taste will go away.

Pregnancy can also trigger a metallic taste in your mouth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is especially true in the first trimester, which is when morning sickness typically starts.

If you’re pregnant, it is important to keep up with your oral care by brushing and flossing regularly. This helps prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. You should also avoid smoking, which can aggravate the metallic taste of metal in your mouth.

Other common causes of a metallic taste when you cough are injuries to your mouth or tongue, as well as recent oral surgery. This can exacerbate the taste in your mouth and can be a sign that you need to see your dentist.

Treatment

Getting a metallic taste when you cough isn’t usually a cause for concern, but it may be worth seeing your doctor to find out what’s causing it. A metallic taste could mean you’re experiencing an upper respiratory infection, a sinus infection, or COVID-19 (an abnormal sense of smell that affects your mouth and throat).

When you have an upper respiratory infection, repeated coughing can bring small amounts of blood into the mouth, causing a metallic taste. It’s common for people to experience this symptom during the winter months because of the cold, dry air and dry throat.

It is important to keep the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection under control so they don’t get worse. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help temporarily alleviate the symptoms.

If you are suffering from an upper respiratory infection and have a metallic taste when you cough, you should try to rest as much as possible and see your doctor. They will likely prescribe medications that are effective against the infection and help your body get well.

Other causes of a metallic taste when you cough include gum disease, which is treatable with good oral hygiene measures like brushing and flossing regularly. Also, quitting smoking can help.

Another possible cause is exercise-induced pulmonary edema, which occurs when the pressure in your chest pushes fluid into the lungs. This fluid contains red blood cells, which can taste metallic when you cough it up into your mouth.

Taking antibiotics or other medicines for an upper respiratory infection is the most common treatment. They will usually be effective, and you can expect the symptoms to improve after a few days.

Some medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy, can change your sense of taste. Cancer treatments can include bleomycin, carbo-/cisplatin and other drugs that can cause a metallic taste in your mouth.

Some multivitamins and some cold remedies can also have a metallic taste in your mouth, but this should subside once the medicine has been absorbed by the body. If you are taking prenatal vitamins, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about changing the dosage to reduce the risk of a metallic taste.

Prevention

When you have a metallic taste when you cough, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. The condition will typically resolve itself when you take care of the underlying problem.

For example, if you have an upper respiratory infection like the cold, it could be that the phlegm or mucus from the virus is causing the metallic taste. It may also be that your mouth is experiencing an infection from another source, such as gum disease.

This can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene and using utensils that don’t have metal. You should also avoid smoking, which can affect your taste buds and make the metallic taste worse.

Pregnancy and food allergies can also cause a metallic taste in the mouth. In some cases, it can be an early symptom of a life-threatening allergy called anaphylaxis, which should be treated right away.

Liver and kidney disease can sometimes cause a metallic taste when coughing, too. These conditions create a buildup of chemicals in your body and release them into the saliva, explains Dr. Lewis.

Some medicines can also have a metallic taste when you cough. These include antidepressants, as well as multivitamins and cold remedies. These usually go away after you stop taking them.

Other common causes of a metallic taste when you cough are strep throat and sinus infections. These infections can cause a metallic taste when you cough as they irritate the nose, throat, and lungs.

Medications that can cause a dry mouth, such as antidepressants and certain antibiotics, can also trigger a metallic taste. You should check with your doctor to find out whether you need to stop taking the medication or change it.

If you are experiencing a metallic taste when you cough, be sure to let your doctor know immediately. You should also see your dentist to clear up any dental issues that might be causing the metallic taste, such as periodontitis or gum disease.

Other symptoms that you should mention to your doctor are a metallic taste in the mouth, as well as other symptoms such as fatigue and other health problems. For example, if the metallic taste is accompanied by a fever or difficulty breathing, you should seek emergency medical help.

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