Chronic coughing: Possible causes and treatment

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Chronic coughing is defined as coughing on
a daily basis for three weeks or longer. And in smokers, they cough every day and that’s
a pretty common complaint. But if it’s a non-smoker, coughing that lasts longer than three weeks
in duration is probably asthma, heartburn or postnasal drip. And it’s interesting because
if someone does not smoke cigarettes and they have a normal chest x-ray, there are really
only three possible causes of this chronic coughing. About 50 percent of the time it’s
asthma that hasn’t been diagnosed yet. So if you’re just flipping a coin, 50 percent
of the time, you’ll be right in treating it for asthma. But the other 50 percent are made
up of postnasal drip, which is particularly common in older folks above the age of 60,
and then the real booger in all this is the, the reflux or heartburn can cause coughing. It’s
frustrating because the heartburn can be totally asymptomatic and yet the person can be coughing
because of reflux. To get the symptom we all know and love as reflux or heartburn you need
a whole cup of acid in your esophagus or swallowing tube; to cough you only need a teaspoon full.
So, but cough chronic coughing with a normal x-ray in a non-smoker is never an infection.
So antibiotics are usually fairly useless. When we evaluate someone for chronic cough,
the first question I give them is make sure their x-rays are normal but the first question
is, are there any history of childhood asthma or allergies? Because it is so common. If
there is and sometimes even if there isn’t, I will initiate asthma therapy because that
will almost immediately take the coughing away in most people. If they come back and
the asthma therapy has not had any impact on their cough, then I will get the ear, nose
and throat people to look at the voice box and see if there’s evidence of irritation
from reflux.

26 thoughts on “Chronic coughing: Possible causes and treatment

  1. Horsedung. I myself am on heavy antacid for reflux, which was DOUBLED when my chronic cough (8 months and counting) developed, I was diagnosed as having mild allergy to Ragweed (but I cough regardless of whether there's ragweed in the atmosphere or not) and I've been on a HEAVY DUTY asthma medication for a month with no effect whatsoever. If medical science continues to fall back upon hidebound responses, how are we supposed to have faith in medical science, and no wonder too many people fall into believing in crappy BS pseudo-treatments? (hello you anti-vaccine nutjobs)

  2. Coughing that Won't Go Away: Sensory Neuropathic Cough.. that's a big reason which most doctors seem to know nothing about .

  3. Sucks, I have asthma but it seems to be seasonal, also acid reflux, gerd, yada yada, take all my meds but go for months on end for at least 1/4th to a 1/3rd of the year every year with a dry unproductive pain in the ass cough. I swear like the only thing that works is that one cough syrup that makes you super sleepy all the steroids and inhalers etc. just are. I remember my allergist once said go live ina salt mine or maybe Arizona. I make take him up on that lol.

  4. I have had a cough over 5 months haven't smoked in years and cough up a lot of phlegm Started coughing so hard I throw up. I've been given antibiotics, an inhaler, and lately been told to stop taking my lisinopril and to take Prilosec for the last week nothing has worked. A month ago had a chest X-ray and it was clear any help here

  5. been coughing for 4 months, seen an ENT specialist, no evidence there. been taking advair, symbicort, blue orange inhalers, post nasal spray, been taking Advil, cough syrups, reaction, Allegra, and a shit ton of halls. nothing has worked. got an x Ray. it was normal. I think I'm possessed. please help. pretty much crossed out every possible diagnosis. I think the next one is death . help

  6. I have a chronic cough for about a year I'm am only 11 I do have a lot of people in my family have asthma but I haven't been tested yet so we'll see

  7. What is asthama therapy and where can I get it? Would it by any way reduce my immunity? I live in a country where the health care service is really poor.

  8. Project solar shield is spraying sulfuric acid and aluminum into the atmosphere. We are all breathing this, the whole world. It is killing the planet.

  9. Dr I have a problem
    The gas which is produced during churning of food gets to my throat and produces sensations resulting into severe coughing
    While sleeping I start coughing too and so if I get out of the bed , lots of gas is released
    I think I have weaken my gerd
    Or something else
    . Pls find out its been over 15 years

  10. I had cough for almost 2 months. I don't smoke. I'm just 14 y/o. It's so hard. I always cough so hard n' it's hard to breathe. 😩

  11. Been having constant clearing of throat after I eat, feels like moisture back of throat. Sometimes cough to where I feel like throwing up but nothing comes out. Anyone else get this?

  12. Ok.. well my mom has been cough for at least 15 yrs or more..(everyday)… she don had an inhaler.. chests x rays.. and all the good medicine.. and medical care there is.. now she wanna try home remedies.. we just wanna know what could be the cause of all the coughing or even a cure or even a suppressant plz…. thanks..

  13. I highly recommend Acetyl L carnitine for neuropathic non pulmonary chronic cough. Drink water with powder of ALCAR (4-6 grams) three times a day and fast results will come. In my experience I managed to get rid of chronic laryngeal cough within weeks. Still it works to shut down the iritability fo larynegal receptors. My results have been long lasting.

  14. my mother has been coughing like mad… since many months.. kind of tried everything.. some doctors say its allergy.. bt nothing is working.. at night esp her coughing does not stop. she coughed lik from 12 30 am till 4 am one night.. im so worried. please help

  15. i have a cough that last for months. this happens every year, during the winter. after that it goes away by itself. ive tried everything. from Medicine. to Lemons and Syrup. cant go to the doctor. they scare me.

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