Chronic Cough Syndrome

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Chronic cough syndrome is a cough that persists for a longer period, usually 6 weeks or longer. However, in children when cough prolongs beyond 4 weeks, it is referred to as chronic cough. Often, chronic cough syndrome can present varying symptoms, depending on the cause(s) of the cough.  RISK FACTORS The following category of people […] Read More

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Chronic Cough Syndrome

Chronic cough syndrome is a cough that persists for a longer period, usually 6 weeks or longer. However, in children when cough prolongs beyond 4 weeks, it is referred to as chronic cough. Often, chronic cough syndrome can present varying symptoms, depending on the cause(s) of the cough.  RISK FACTORS The following category of people are those who are susceptible to having the mold allergy:
  • A current or former smoker.
  • One with frequent exposure to secondhand smoke, such as bush burning, gas flaring, industrial smoke, or staying close to a smoker.
  • People with a weakened immune system may get infected resulting in chronic coughing.
COMPLICATIONS Chronic cough syndrome can lead to the following complications:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disruption
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Excessive sweating especially at night
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness (syncope).
DIAGNOSIS An appointment with a doctor may result in having one of these to find out the cause of your cough:
  • Acid reflux test.
  • Endoscopy :To look into your esophagus, stomach, and SI.
  • Sputum Culture : To check for bacteria or the infection in your mucus.
  • Pulmonary Function Test : To check the condition of your heart and how much air you can breathe out.
  • X-ray : To look for signs of cancer or infections.
  • CT Scans : To for signs of cancer or infections.
  • Bronchoscopy : This uses a scope to view the lining of your lower airways and lungs. Also to remove a piece of tissue to test (biopsy).
  • Rhinoscopy : This uses a scope to examine the inside of your nasal passages. For children, a chest X-ray and spirometry are at least used to find the cause of the chronic cough. Other tests may be used.
SPECIALTY Allergist/Immunologist and Cardiologist. TREATMENT Treatment is done in line with the cause of your cough. They may include: A medication to neutralize reduces or blocks acid production, such as:
  • Antacids
  • H2 receptor blockers
  • Protein pump  inhibitors
  • Chronic Bronchitis : The use of bronchodilators and inhaled steroids to treat chronic bronchitis and other forms of COPD.
  • Asthma: Drugs include inhaled steroids and bronchodilators by doctors’ prescription. Bring down swellings in the airways and makes the narrowed air passages to be widened to help you breathe more easily.
  • Infections : The use of antibiotics.
  • Postnatal Drip.  
The use of decongestants,  such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays. Other treatment options include:
  • A cough suppressant; Over––counter medicine that contains dextromethorphan (Mucinex, Robitussin) relaxes the cough reflex.
  • Benson State.
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin), an anti-seizure medicine.
However, some of these medications are addictive and can cause drowsiness. TIPS TO MANAGE CHRONIC COUGH This lifestyle and home remedies do not set aside the treatment plan your doctor gives to you for your cough.  While continuing with the treatment plan, apply these tips to ease your cough:
  • Drink fluids. 
Fluids help thin the mucus in your throat. Warm liquids like tea and broth can smooth your throat.
  • Suck on a cough lozenge.
  • Use a saline nose spray or nasal irrigation (net pot). 
The saltwater will loosen and drain the mucus that is causing the cough.
  • Moisturize the air. 
Use a cool-mist humidifier or take a steamy bath.
  • Take honey. 
A spoonful of honey may help loosen the cough. Don’t smoke. If you smoke, ask your doctor for advice o quit, and stay away from smokers.
  • Resist acid reflux. 
If you have acid reflux, don’t overeat or eat within two or three hours before bed. Reduce your weight, especially the obsessed.


Coughing is a routine bodily function but can be worrying when it lasts for an extended time. A chronic cough can either be wet (produces mucus) or dry (no mucus but tick the throat). 

An individual must see a doctor whenever he or she notices the following symptoms:

  • Coughing up a lot of mucus, or a tickling throat when coughing.
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Chest pain/coughing up blood
  • A high fever ( greater than 103 F)
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
  • Heartburn or a sour taste in your mouth sore throat stuffed or runny nose
  • Hoarse voice
  • Wheezing
  • A feeling of liquid dripping down the back of your throat (nasal drip)
  • Persistent cough, and disturbs sleep.


Coughing, though uncomfortable, sometimes serves a useful purpose. Through coughing, mucus and foreign materials from your airways that can irritate your lungs, are brought up and removed from your system. 

Cough can also be a response action to inflammation or illness. The cough should be short-lived. A lingering cough has other causes associated with it and goes not without complications. 

The most common causes of chronic cough are:

  • Postnasal drip

Mucus dripping down the back of the throat those results in irritation.

  • Infection

Lingering after-effects of infection, such as pneumonia, the flu, tuberculosis, others.

  • Chronic bronchitis

This causes long-term inflammation of the airways. This is one of the diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CORD) that typically occurs as a side-effect of smoking.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Stomach acid flows back into the tube that connects your stomach and throat. This results in content irritation that causes cough.

  • Blood pressure drugs

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, commonly prescribed for hypertension and heart failure are known to cause a chronic cough.

  • Bronchiolitis

Infection and inflammation of the tiny air passages in the lungs (bronchioles).

  • Bronchiectasis

Damage to the airways causes the bronchial wall in the lungs to be inflamed and thickened.

  • Cystic fibrosis

An inherited condition that damages the lungs and other organs by causing thick secretions.

  • Interstitial lung disease

Disease involved in scarring of the tissue.

  • Sarcoidosis

Clustering of influenced cells, known as granulomas.

  • Aspiration

Food in adults, foreign bodies in children.

  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux

Stomach acid flows up into the throat irritating.

  • Nonasthmatic  eosinophilic bronchitis

Airways inflammation is not due to an asthmatic condition.

  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Chronic scarring of the lungs without a known cause.

  • Asthma; especially cough-variant asthma.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Heart failure.
  • Whooping cough.
  • Smoking


What can a chronic cough be a sign of?

A chronic cough is a cough that persists for longer than 6 weeks in adults and 4 weeks in children. Common causes include allergies, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic bronchitis, infections, or smoking. It can also be a sign of a more severe condition, such as heart cough or lung disease.

Can a chronic cough be psychological?

There is a complex relationship between psycho morbidity and chronic cough. The term psychogenic cough usually paints a picture that the cause or origin of the chronic cough can be tied to psychological issues. 

Our cerebrum controls our thoughts and emotions. Unhealthy thoughts on cough, when communicated to our brain, maybe a result of chronic cough in some individuals. Therefore, psychic morbidity can be one cause of a chronic cough.

What is the best step to take when your cough persists?

Generally, cough is a normal body routine. It serves a useful purpose, as it brings up mucus and foreign materials from your airways that can irritate your lungs. But prolonged enough becomes a health hazard. 

The following lifestyle remedies are useful steps to prevent chronic cough:

  • Drink sufficient fluids to thin the mucus in your throat.
  • Suck on drops or lozenges to smooth on the irritated throat.
  • Take a teaspoon of honey to loosen the cough.
  • Moisturize the air with a cool-mist humidifier, or take a hot shower and breathe in the steam.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke. Don’t smoke or stay near smokers.
  • Use a saline nose spray or nasal irrigation.
  • Avoid overreacting and within 2 or 3 hours before to stop the acid reflux.

What can cause a cough to last for months?

The following causes, alone or with others, are responsible for most of the chronic cough:

  • Postnasal drip
  • Asthmatic condition
  • Infections
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CORD)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Blood pressure drug.

What is GERD cough like?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is usually associated with chronic coughing; constant throat clearing; trouble swallowing, feeling like something is stuck in the back of your throat.