Coughing serves an essential purpose, despite how uncomfortable it may be. When a person coughs, mucus and foreign material stuck in the airways are brought up and out of the body. Most coughs typically arise due to a cold or the flu, lasting a few days or weeks. However, sometimes a cough can linger for several weeks or months. When a cough lasts longer than eight weeks, it is referred to as a chronic cough. Fortunately, many chronic coughs often have a treatable cause.
The most noticeable symptom of chronic cough is having a cough that persists longer than eight weeks. Common symptoms that often go along with a chronic cough include:
- Hoarse voice
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Frequent throat clearing
Other issues that may arise with chronic cough may include:
- Dizziness or fainting
- Chest soreness and discomfort
- Sleep loss
The most common causes of a chronic cough are:
- Postnasal drip
- Acid reflux (GERD)
- Chronic bronchitis
- Infections, such as pneumonia or acute bronchitis
Treatment will depend on what is causing the cough. Here are the most common treatment options for the various causes:
- Acid Reflux: One may take medicine, such as antacids, H2 receptor blockers, or proton pump inhibitors, to neutralize, reduce, or block acid production.
- Asthma: Medical management or immunobiological treatment for severe asthma.
- Infections: Antibiotics can help treat pneumonia or other bacterial infections.
The direct cause of chronic cough can be managed with over the counter medicines and prescription medications. At NEAAI, we offer additional treatments, such as medical management of chronic cough, medical management of asthma, and immunobiological treatments for severe asthma.
Contact Northeast Allergy, Asthma & Immunology today to schedule your appointment.