What’s Causing Your Chronic Cough?
Nagging symptoms that persist for days or weeks can sometimes indicate an underlying medical condition. A chronic cough, for instance, may be triggered by asthma, infections, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). An asthma specialist may diagnose a chronic cough in adults who suffer from it for eight weeks or longer, and in children who have it for four weeks or longer. But you don’t need to wait this long before you see the doctor, especially if your chronic cough is affecting your quality of life. When the asthma and allergy specialist figures out what is causing your chronic cough, you can get started on a treatment plan.
Some patients with a chronic cough discover that they have cough-variant asthma. In this type, the primary symptom is the dry cough that doesn’t produce mucus. It’s important to note that this type of asthma doesn’t necessarily cause other classic symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath. If you are diagnosed with this condition, your asthma treatment plan will include avoiding your triggers and using asthma medications.
When you visit the doctor, be sure to discuss your full medical history. Your doctor will need to know about any recent infections you’ve had. It’s possible for a lingering cough to develop long after an active infection has resolved. This is particularly true of sinus infections, influenza, colds, and pneumonia.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when stomach acid flows upward into the esophagus. The acid irritates the esophagus, which causes the coughing. Patients with GERD may need to take medications. They can also follow certain lifestyle modifications, such as eating smaller meals, avoiding lying down for two hours after eating, losing weight, and avoiding alcohol.
The board-certified allergists and immunologists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provide state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment plans. If you’ve been experiencing a chronic cough or other signs of asthma, call our office at 1(800)86-COUGH. Our asthma specialists are available in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.