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Investigating The Reasons Behind Coughing After a Hearty Laugh

Why Do I Cough When I Laugh? Complete Guide

Have you ever wondered why a good laugh sometimes turns into a coughing fit? It’s a curious phenomenon that many people experience. In this article, we’ll explore why laughter can trigger coughing. We’ll also look at the link between laughter and asthma and how to manage this reaction.

The Physiology of Laughter

Laughter is a natural response to something funny or joyful. It involves many parts of the body, especially the diaphragm, which is a large muscle beneath the lungs. When we laugh, our diaphragm moves up and down quickly. This helps us expel air from our lungs, creating the sound of laughter.

How Laughter Affects Breathing

When we laugh, our breathing changes. We take in quick, shallow breaths and then release bursts of air. This irregular breathing can disturb the normal flow of air in the lungs. For some people, this can irritate the airways and cause coughing.

Laughter also changes the pressure inside our chest. The rapid movement of air can dislodge small amounts of mucus or other particles in the airways, triggering a cough reflex. This is the body’s way of clearing out anything that might block the airways.

Laughter and Asthma

For people with asthma, laughter can be a significant trigger. Asthma is a condition that causes the airways to become inflamed and narrow. This makes it harder to breathe and can lead to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Laughing can make asthma worse. It causes rapid breathing and pressure changes. The diaphragm and chest muscles tighten, forcing the lungs to work harder. This can lead to an asthma flare-up, characterized by coughing and difficulty breathing.

Managing Laughter-Induced Coughing

If you find that laughing makes you cough, there are ways to manage this reaction. Here are some tips:

  1. Use Your Inhaler: If you have asthma, always keep your quick-relief inhaler with you. Use it before activities that make you laugh or when you start to feel symptoms.
  2. Practice Breathing Exercises: Learning how to control your breathing can help. Slow, deep breaths can reduce the chances of a coughing fit.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water keeps your throat and airways moist, which can help prevent irritation.
  4. Avoid Irritants: Try to avoid smoke, dust, and other irritants that can make your airways more sensitive.

When to See a Doctor

It’s important to talk to a doctor if coughing during laughter is frequent or severe. This is especially crucial if:

  • Your symptoms don’t improve with usual medications.
  • Your symptoms disrupt your daily life or sleep.
  • You experience other severe symptoms like chest pain or a rapid heart rate.

A doctor can help adjust your asthma management plan or investigate other possible causes of your symptoms.

Dealing with Discomfort: How to Cope with Intercostal Muscle Strain to Improve Your Sleep

Other Common Triggers

Laughter isn’t the only thing that can trigger coughing or asthma symptoms. Other common triggers include:

  • Allergens: Such as pollen, pet dander, and mold.
  • Weather Changes: Cold air, dry wind, and sudden temperature changes can irritate the airways.
  • Exercise: Physical activity, especially in cold weather, can trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Irritants: Smoke, pollution, and strong chemicals can aggravate the respiratory system.
  • Emotional responses cause crying, stress, and excitement. They can change breathing patterns and trigger symptoms.


Coughing when laughing is common. It happens due to the body changes laughter causes. For people with asthma, this reaction can be more pronounced. Understanding the link between laughter and coughing can help you manage your symptoms. It can also help you enjoy the many benefits of a good laugh. Always consult a healthcare professional if your symptoms are severe or persistent. Stay informed, manage your triggers, and keep laughing!

Need Medical Advice? Contact DeptFord Medical Center

If you experience frequent coughing when you laugh or have any other respiratory concerns, it’s important to seek professional medical advice. At DeptFord Medical Center, our experienced team of healthcare professionals is here to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get the care you need.

FAQs About Coughing and Laughter

Can everyone cough when they laugh?

 It’s more common in people with respiratory conditions like asthma. But, anyone can cough when they laugh due to changes in breathing and air pressure.

Is it dangerous to cough when laughing? 

For most people, occasional coughing when laughing isn’t harmful. However, if it happens frequently or severely, it’s best to consult a doctor.

Can laughter be beneficial despite causing coughing? 

Yes, laughter has many benefits. It reduces stress and releases endorphins. They improve mood. Managing your symptoms can help you enjoy these benefits without discomfort.

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