When someone sneezes we usually say, “Bless you” but when you hear a bellowing cough your instincts are to run away. The suffering cougher goes unblessed and often feels isolated as people flee for cover hoping not to inhale any aerosolized infectious particles. Such defense mechanisms are not looked down upon in today’s era of germ avoidance, but what defense does the cougher have against the seemingly never ending cough?
The role and effectiveness of cough suppressants will be a topic to revisit on another day. More importantly, the cause of prolonged coughing should be identified. Let’s first discuss the difference between acute and chronic cough.
An acute cough generally goes away within three to four weeks for a child and within eight weeks for an adult. There are many causes of acute cough but the most common one is the common cold. Other causes include sinus infections, flu syndrome, other upper respiratory infections and ear i...
One of my daughters was diagnosed with cough variant asthma . We had never heard of such a term, so we spent some time doing the research. It turns out that most people who are diagnosed with this form of asthma are also children with childhood asthma, like our daughter. The main symptom of cough variant asthma is a dry, non-productive cough. This cough may worsen at night, with exercise or when exposed to asthma triggers. Most people with cough variant asthma do not exhibit any of the "classic" asthma symptoms, like wheezing or shortness of breath. This type of asthma may lead to "classic" symptoms down the line. Cough variant asthma can be very difficult to diagnose because it mimicks many other things. Even a cold or sinus infection could present with the same symptoms. If your child's doctor thinks they may have cough variant asthma there are several tests they may want to run. Physical Exam This exam will check the basics and may...
Chronic cough, defined as a cough that lasts for more than eight weeks, affects about one in five people. Some studies that suggest there is a relationship between acid reflux and chronic cough. When patients who had a chronic cough were studied, it was clear that sometimes, acid reflux episodes increased their coughing (Kahrilas et al., 2013). While this research shows that chronic coughing may be related to reflux, there can be many different reasons (not just acid reflux) why someone would have a chronic cough.
Diagnosing a Reflux Related Chronic Cough
Coughing is an automatic reflex of the respiratory tract that your body uses to clear your upper airways. Besides acid reflux, a chronic cough could be caused by exposure to cigarette smoke, environmental pollution, asthma, bronchitis, or allergies just to name a few. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common causes of chronic cough (Irwin, 2006).
Understanding the connection of coughing to reflux...
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