Chronic cough is more than a simple nuisance. It can interrupt your daily life and leave you feeling drained. It can even cause some other physical ailments, like vomiting, in extreme cases. How can you tell if your cough has become chronic?
Chronic cough is defined as a cough that has remained consistent for eight weeks or more. It can be caused by asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, postnasal drainage, as well as other less common causes. The key to treating this issue is to find and treat the underlying problem that is causing the cough. To diagnosis the underlying problem you can visit either an allergist or an otolaryngologist (also known as an ENT: ear, nose, and throat doctor). One of an ENT’s specialties is the throat, and they will be able to diagnosis any throat related issues that may be causing the chronic cough. An ENT will most likely scope your throat to look inside and try to find the underlying issue. An allergist has expertise in dealing with sinus infections and allergic rhinitis. Both diseases can contribute to postnasal drainage which is a common cause of chronic cough. Allergists also have experience in treating asthma, GERD, and heartburn. These can also cause cough, which can then become chronic.
When Should I Seek Medical Help?
It is important to seek medical help once your cough becomes chronic. This would occur when your cough has lasted for more than eight weeks. It is also important to seek medical help if your cough is affecting your quality of life and if it is severe. Here at National Allergy & ENT you can seek medical advice from one of our allergists or our ENT. To schedule an appointment please call us at (843) 212-7976 or you can schedule online.