A chronic cough can be an embarrassing and frustrating problem. It can interfere with exercise, work, and even keep you up at night. A cough that just won’t be calmed can cause emotional distress. This condition is described as a cough that persists for 8 weeks or longer. However, a cough that is disrupting your daily life may require medical attention long before that. Especially at this time when the Coronavirus pandemic is ongoing, people wonder what they should do about an acute or chronic cough. First and foremost, if the cough coincides with other COVID-19 symptoms such as fever and body aches, and loss of taste or smell, it is necessary to get tested right away. A negative result allows a doctor to then move on to diagnosing the underlying cause of the chronic cough.
How Does a Doctor Diagnose a Chronic Cough?
It is beneficial to consult with a pulmonary specialist if a chronic cough persists or worsens. Dr. Bowen understands that an uncontrollable cough can be exhausting. Our practice is committed to providing necessary tests that can help us determine why this problem has occurred. Once the underlying cause is identified, Dr. Bowen develops an appropriate treatment plan to improve quality of life.
What Causes a Chronic Cough?
A cough may not be as simple as it seems. The problem may originate from issues within the respiratory system, the throat, the esophagus, the sinuses, or even the heart. Some of the potential causes a specialist will consider include:
- Chronic lung infection such as tuberculosis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Heart conditions
- Lung cancer
Symptoms of a Chronic Cough
You may need to see a pulmonologist or at least your family doctor if you experience a cough and other symptoms such as:
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Post-nasal drip
- Runny nose or congestion
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep problems such as sleep apnea or severe snoring
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Coughing up blood
Several factors can contribute to a chronic cough. It is important to seek appropriate care from an experienced physician or specialist like Dr. Bowen to determine the cause of your symptoms. Contact our NYC office at 212-480-4062 to schedule your appointment.