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Chronic Cough

Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates

Pulmonologists, Allergists, & Sleep Medicine Doctors located in Houston, TX & Cypress, TX

A persistent or chronic cough can keep you from getting a restful night’s sleep, leading to fatigue and difficulty concentrating throughout the day. The expert team at Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates, diagnoses and treats children and adults with chronic coughs at locations in Cypress and Houston, Texas. If you or your child has a chronic cough, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Chronic Cough Q & A

What is a chronic cough?

Most coughs resolve within one or two weeks. A chronic cough persists for much longer, usually eight weeks for adults and four for children. Depending on the cause, a chronic cough may involve other symptoms like wheezing, nasal congestion, or heartburn.

What causes a chronic cough?

The team at Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates, treats many problems that cause a chronic cough. The most common causes include:

Asthma

Asthma can cause coughing that comes and goes with the seasons or appears after certain events, like an upper respiratory infection or exposure to lung irritants.

Postnasal drip

Also called upper airway cough syndrome, postnasal drip is when mucus from your sinuses or nasal passages drips down the back of your throat. This drip can trigger coughing. 

Infections

An upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold, the flu, or pneumonia, can lead to a lingering cough that lasts for weeks after it clears up. Chronic coughing can also be a sign of a fungal infection, such as tuberculosis or another mycobacterial infection. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Most people with COPD are smokers or former smokers. 

Other conditions

Other possible causes of a chronic cough include lung cancer, bronchiectasis, sarcoidosis, and cystic fibrosis. 

What tests and procedures diagnose a chronic cough?

First, the team at Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates, reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam. They may also conduct tests, including:

  • X-rays of the chest or sinuses
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Lab tests

They may start you on a treatment plan for some of the more common causes of chronic cough to see if your symptoms improve before they order these tests. 

What treatments are available for a chronic cough?

After they diagnose your condition, the team at Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates develops an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific condition. Treatment varies depending on the cause of your chronic cough but may include medications and lifestyle changes like avoiding tobacco smoke. 

To find relief from a chronic cough, call Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates, or book an appointment online today.