Chronic cough

Medical Specialties: Allergy/immunology, Family practice, Internal medicine

Clinical Definition

Chronic cough, or persistent cough, is a cough that persists more than eight weeks. Not a disease itself, it originates from other health conditions, typically related to asthma, smoking, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sinusitis and other problems. Treatment depends on the etiology.

In Our Own Words

Chronic cough is one that lasts a long time--more than eight weeks--or comes back over time. Smoking is the most common cause, but it can also be caused by asthma, acid reflux, sinus problems, allergies, inflammation of airway passages, respiratory infections, or the lung condition known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Some high blood pressure drugs can also cause cough. Evaluation and management of chronic cough depends on the history, presentation and suspected or confirmed underlying causes.

Relevant Conditions
  • Acid reflux
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Emphysema
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