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.
- 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)
- Medications such as ACE inhibitors used for blood pressure management can cause a chronic cough
- Chronic lung infections such as pertussis (whooping cough)
- Chronic allergies
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis
- Chronic sinusitis associated with a post nasal drip
- Lung cancer
This problem can be quite elusive at times and need a multidisciplinary team approach including your ENT doctor, Allergist, and Pulmonologist.