When the cough persists for more than eight weeks in adults or four weeks in children, it is considered chronic and may be due to a lung disorder. A chronic cough might make you feel exhausted, prevent you from sleeping peacefully, and interfere with your ability to work and socialize.
A chronic cough may induce dizziness, vomiting, urine incontinence, and even rib fractures; thus, it’s vital to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing such symptoms.
What causes chronic cough?
Several lifestyles and health conditions can cause chronic cough, including:
- Exposure to second-hand smoke.
- Certain medications used to treat blood pressure disorders like ACE inhibitors.
- Lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Acid reflux /heartburn.
- Allergies that may cause nasal or sinus infections, such as hay fever, mold, and pets.
- Postnasal drip: mucus that drains down the back of your throat from the back of your nose.
- Swallowing difficulties.
- Congenital airway and gastrointestinal tract abnormalities.
- Lung cancer
What are the symptoms of chronic cough?
Patients diagnosed with a chronic cough may often experience headaches, chest pain, lack of bladder control, sweating, and rib fractures. Other symptoms can include:
- A stuffy or runny nose.
- Sore throat.
- Clearing throat frequently.
- Shortness of breath and wheezing.
- Feeling heartburn or a sour taste in your mouth.
How is chronic cough diagnosed?
The doctor will perform a physical examination that includes taking your temperature and placing a stethoscope on your back and chest to hear your breathing or put a small clip on your index finger to measure your oxygen level.
Some conditions may require examining the windpipe (trachea) and bronchi for abnormalities using a small, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera.
Below, you’ll find some diagnostic tests used to determine the underlying cause of chronic cough in order to provide the appropriate treatment:
– Chest X-Ray to rule out lung cancer, pneumonia, and other lung conditions.
– Spirometry (lung function test) helps detect lung conditions by measuring how much air you can breathe out in one forced breath.
– Blood tests to check if your body is fighting an infection or if there are signs of allergies.
– Phlegm or sputum sample collected after a deep cough to check for pathogens or allergy triggers.
How is chronic cough treated?
Identifying the source of a chronic cough is essential for effective treatment since different underlying conditions may be responsible for your chronic cough. After the consultation, our pulmonologist will be able to determine the appropriate treatment for your condition.
Book your appointment at Novomed today!
Pulmonology specialists at Novomed have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide range of disorders, and they will help you receive the best treatment for your condition.
If you have any questions about our services or want to book an appointment with our board-certified pulmonology expert, contact us on the toll-free number 800 (NOVO) 6686 or click on the live chat icon at the bottom of the screen.