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Chronic Cough

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Chronic Cough

Chronic cough is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical treatment.

Chronic cough is a persistent cough that lasts more than several weeks. It can appear during a cold or sinus infection or slowly creep in. Your larynx can become so sensitive that merely taking a breath can trigger a spasm and coughing fit. Many patients suffer with chronic cough and struggle to find treatments that work.

Chronic Cough Causes:

Causes of chronic cough can include:

  • Food sensitivities
  • Allergic rhinitis causing post nasal drip
  • Sinonasal disease
  • Environmental allergies which cause post-nasal drip
  • Acid reflux
  • Aspiration
  • Uncontrolled asthma
  • COPD
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Medication side effects
  • Chronic vocal cord irritation due to smoking or drugs

Chronic Cough Symptoms:

Chronic cough may occur with the following signs and symptoms:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Frequent throat clearing
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn

Severe cases of chronic cough can cause vomiting, lightheadedness, depression, and even injuries to your ribs.

Chronic Cough Treatment:

Treatment for chronic cough is based on a complete evaluation to identify the underlying cause(s) and contributing factors. Once determined, management through medication and/or lifestyle and behavior changes are offered. Often a combination of treatments is necessary to calm the cycle. Additionally, eliminating and modifying triggers for the cough may also be recommended.

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Linda D. Dahl, MD