Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I have a chronic cough?"
I've had a cough for around 9 months. I thought I was just sick with a cold at first, then it went away, then it came back, then it went away again. But now it is back again! Why do I have a chronic cough?
Sorry to hear that the cough is back! You should definitely make an appointment with your doctor to have this evaluated. You can start with a visit to your family doctor or primary care doctor. There are many different causes of chronic cough, and your evaluation and treatment will depend a lot on what your doctor finds at that visit. For example, if you are a smoker (or if you are exposed to second hand smoke), then the chronic cough may simply be related to the irritation of your lungs from the smoking. Similarly, if you have been smoking for many years, there can be chronic changes in the lungs from the smoke-induced damage, called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which can cause a persistent cough. Even if you are not a smoker, there are still plenty of potential causes of your cough. For example, chronic nasal allergies or chronic sinus congestion routinely causes cough. Also, persistent asthma that is not well controlled may be a source of cough. After performing a close examination of your heart and lungs and throat, your doctor may decide to perform additional testing, such as blood work or an x-ray of your lungs, to further help decide what is going on.
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