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Home Blog Why I Cough After Eating?

Why I Cough After Eating?


Many people have experienced the problem of cough occasionally or after every meal. Coughing after the meal is not a usual problem. Coughing is a symptom of an underlying severe medical condition. Coughing is the typical response of the body against irritants. Sometimes irritants are introduced in the body while eating that can lead to coughing.

Coughs are of two types- dry cough and chesty cough but a simple cough is different from whooping Cough. Whooping cough is a severe bacterial infection. The best way to get relief from coughing is to address the primary cause.

Why We Cough?

A cough is not an illness but a symptom of illness. Coughing is a process to get rid of foreign particles, microbes, mucous, bacteria from the throat. It is an attempt to clear the throat by forcing air out of the lungs under high pressure. For instance, if any foreign particle or phlegm stuck in the throat, it results in cough to remove it out from the throat.

What Are The Possible Reasons For Coughing After Eating?

Frequent coughing after eating has some of the common causes include following:


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease. It affects the airways of the lungs. Asthma can cause tightness in the chest, wheezing and cough. The cough becomes worst late at night or early in the morning. If you notice a cough after eating a meal, it may be due to asthma.

Food allergies

Coughing is one of the symptoms of food allergies. People may experience wheezing or shortness of breath and a runny nose. It is a severe reaction that can also lead to anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition and requires immediate treatment.

Viral infection

It is the most common cause of cough. It also produces a productive cough which eliminates mucus from the lungs.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux is caused due to the movement of acid to the food pipe from the stomach. Acid can irritate the food pipe and cause coughing which can associate with a sour or bitter taste, sore throat and burning sensation in the chest.

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux(LPR)

It is also called silent reflux. It involves the passage of acid through the oesophagus into the larynx or even in the nose. The symptoms of LPR include hoarseness, the constant urge of clearing your throat.

Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)

GERD is more severe acid reflux. The symptoms of GERD are wheezing, nausea, vomiting, excessive stomach gas and trouble swallowing.


Dysphagia is a condition of having trouble swallowing. The reason for dysphagia is acid reflux which can lead to coughing.

Environmental factors

Environmental irritants such as pollen, dust, chemicals and pet dander cause cough.

Common cold

It is a common infection that affects the upper respiratory system. It can affect the throat, trachea and nasal passage and also produce cough.

Chest infection

It is an infection of the chest that affects the alveoli and attacks the airways and then bronchitis of the lungs. It can cause sneezing and coughing and also spread the chest infection.

What Should I Do To Prevent Coughing After Eating?

You can prevent coughing after by following these ways:

  • By eating slowly
  • Prevent choking by stop eating during cough.
  • Take prescribed medicines against acid reflux or asthma
  • Always have a glass of water near you while eating.
  • Maintaining a diary of foods that make you cough.

When To Contact A Doctor?

People who experience coughing every time after eating need to see a doctor. It is good to see a doctor for coughing after eating when:

  • It occurs every time after having a meal
  • You don’t know the reason for the cough
  • You notice blood in the mucus
  • You are an active smoker and experience frequent cough
  • Coughing lasts longer for more than two weeks


You can prevent coughing by slow down your eating habit or drink water while eating meals. You can also track the food which can make cough. Avoid foods with citrus and acetic acid such as oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit that can induce coughing. You can seek the advice of an ENT for diagnosis and treatment. Many of the reasons for coughing are easy to treat or manage. But still, it’s essential to talk to a doctor to prevent the development of the causes of the cough.