Chronic cough


Chest | Pulmonology | Chronic cough (Disease)


Description

A cough is a reflex action that occurs as an attempt to clear the airways of mucus, sputum, a foreign body, or any other irritants or blockages.

Causes and Risk factors

A cough is productive when it brings up mucus or sputum and unproductive, or dry, when it does not. Many coughs are due to irritation of the airways by dust, smoke or a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Coughing is a feature of bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, and lung cancer.

Chronic cough is a cough that persists. Chronic cough is not a disease in itself; rather it is a symptom of an underlying condition. Some common causes of chronic cough include asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus problems such as sinus infection, and esophageal reflux of stomach contents.

The following are common causes of chronic coughing. Cigarette smoking actually is the most common cause of chronic cough. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) refers to acid reflux, or backward flow, of stomach acid and other contents into the esophagus.
Certain medications used in treating high blood pressure, can cause chronic cough. Infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia can cause acute cough or a chronic cough. These infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungus Less common causes of chronic cough include allergies, tumors, sarcoidosis, congestive heart failure, or other lung diseases such as chronic obstructive disease (COPD) or emphysema.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The treatment of cough is directed toward the particular by the cause. In order to discover the cause, a chest X-ray is necessary....