What is Chronic Cough?
A cough is considered chronic when it lasts four weeks or longer in children or eight weeks or longer in adults. Coughing is more than just annoying. It can interrupt your sleep, work, and daytime activities. People with severe cases experience vomiting, lightheadedness and sometimes even rib fractures and broken blood vessels.
What Causes Chronic Cough?
It's sometimes hard to determine what is the exact trigger. Some of the more common causes include but are not limited to:
- Allergies (by far the most common causes)
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Tobacco Use
- Postnasal Drip
- Acid Reflux
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Treatment with ACE Inhibitors
- Long Covid
When Should I Be Concerned?
An occasional cough is normal. It can help clear irritants or mucus and helps prevent infections. A cough becomes a problem when it last for several weeks without any change. It’s also a problem if it persistently gets worse.
How do you diagnose a chronic cough?
It is important to rule out the more common causes first. Allergy testing is a good first step, as is a sinus CT scan to rule out chronic sinusitis. With these two simple tests we can diagnose the majority of cases.
Also, knowing your medical history plays an important roll in diagnosing a chronic cough. For example, you may not be a smoker, but your partner is. The second hand smoke could be a contributing factor to your chronic cough.
What are the available treatments?
Treatments will depend largely on the cause. For those with seasonal allergies, a combination of simple medications, nasal rinses and immunotherapy will take care of the pesky cough. For others there is a hidden chronic sinusitis, post nasal drip or acid reflux, each with their own treatment options.
The only way to treat a chronic cough is by trying to identify the root cause. A proper exam can help us identify the cause.
Request an Appointment...
If you're concerned about chronic cough, the first step to relief is a proper exam. We know life can be busy, fill out the form below and we'll reach out to you to schedule your appointment.