Ah, the joys of winter. Eggnog, ice skating … (cough cough cough). Constant cough can stop you in your tracks. “Even a little cough can be debilitating,” says Mark Yoder, MD, assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Cold and flu season brings on hacking coughs that can leave your chest muscles aching. But colds and flu aren’t the only problems that cause coughing. Allergies, asthma, acid reflux, dry air, and smoking are common causes of coughs. Even medications such as certain drugs for high blood pressure and allergies can cause chronic cough.