Chronic cough is a cough that has persisted over time. Chronic cough is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of the underlying condition. Chronic cough is a chronic problem and the reason for many visits to the doctor. Chronic cough is one of the most common complaints in adults seeking outpatient medical treatment. About $3.6 billion is spent on over – the-counter drugs to treat cough. Fortunately, 90% of patients have a positive diagnosis and relief of their symptoms if their doctor takes a comprehensive and detailed approach.
What Is Chronic Cough?
Chronic cough is characterized as a cough that lasts longer than eight weeks. Coughing usually occurs as a defence mechanism to secure and clear our airways from secretions and foreign matter. Cough can be caused by chemical, mechanical or thermal stimulation (foreign body, speak, smoke, cold / hot air, irregular growth and irritant particles). People usually seek medical advice for a variety of reasons, such as sleep disturbance, chest / rib pain, hoarseness, excessive throat clearing of thick mucus, urinary incontinence, social isolation, or fear of serious underlying conditions.
What Causes Chronic Cough?
There are multiple possible causes of cough, ranging from seasonal allergies, reflux, asthma, other medicines for blood pressure, pertussis, foreign body, congestive heart failure, tuberculosis, psychogenic, neurogenic, lung and throat cancer. Luckily, the cause of a chronic cough in more than 95% of reasonably healthy non-smoking adults can be reduced to three conditions: post-natal drip cough syndrome, cough-variant asthma and reflux from the stomach.
How is it Diagnosed?
The doctor will consult you to discover the cause behind the cough, as well as the best possible treatment.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your cough and lifestyle:
- When did your cough start?
- Does your cough bring up mucus?
- Do you have any allergies?
- If there is mucus, what’s the consistency and color? Is there any blood?
- What triggers your cough?
- Have you been in close contact with people with any respiratory infections such as common cold, tuberculosis, pneumonia or whooping cough?
- What medical illnesses do you have?
- What do you do in your time off? Have you recently travelled?
- Do you smoke cigarettes or marijuana? Do you use recreational drugs?
Before treatment, your doctor can order some diagnostic tests to help you identify the cause. The most popular initial non-invasive tests ordered may consist of chest x-rays, pulmonary function tests, sinus CT scans, allergy tests or blood tests.
How Do You Treat Chronic Cough?
At Today Clinic, we have tailor-made treatments for people with allergies, asthma, lung disorders and other conditions. If you have chronic cough, you may have underlying allergies or other respiratory problems. We will listen to your concerns, diagnose your illness, and provide effective treatment options so you can get back to your busy schedule.