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Throat and Mouth

Cough

by David Godin, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Chronic cough, defined as a cough lasting longer than 8 weeks, is a very common problem encountered by Otolaryngologists and Allergist. This is often quite disturbing causing individuals to have difficulty sleeping and be uncomfortable in social or work situations. There are a wide variety of etiologies for this problem which are carefully considered by your doctor. Some of the more common causes are listed below.

  1. Reflux related disease can cause a cough and chronic coughing has been noted as an independent risk factor for esophageal cancer (reference Revis et al)
  2. Asthma
  3. Medications such as ACE inhibitors used for blood pressure management can cause a chronic cough
  4. Chronic lung infections such as pertussis (whooping cough)
  5. Chronic allergies
  6. Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  7. Chronic sinusitis associated with a post nasal drip
  8. Lung cancer

This problem can be quite elusive at times and need a multidisciplinary team approach including your ENT doctor, Allergist, and Pulmonologist.