(HealthDay News) -- Coughing is the body's way of ridding the respiratory tract of an irritating substance. Allergies, asthma or inhaling secondhand smoke are common triggers for a cough.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute mentions these additional potential causes:

  • Air pollution or inhaling fumes from paint or perfume.
  • Medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Bronchitis or a respiratory infection.
  • Certain medications, including beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, both commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.