Chronic Cough

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Youve been coughing for weeks. How do you know if its just a hard-to-shake cold or something more serious? Dr. Edward Hill discusses chronic cough in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Coughing is good because it helps to clear foreign objects and mucus from your lungs and breathing tubes. However, a cough that lasts a long time can be the sign of a health problem. A chronic cough is a cough that lasts longer than eight weeks.

There are many possible causes. Here are some common ones:

Smoking and lung damage from smoking

ACE inhibitors, medicines used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure

Allergies

Asthma

Sinus problems, and

Acid reflux from the stomach

Rare causes of chronic cough include tuberculosis and lung cancer.

Your doctor may prescribe medicine or lifestyle changes to treat these problems and stop your cough.

Chronic cough usually has the same causes in children as in adults. Sometimes, however, young children can have a cough because an object is stuck in their windpipe. Talk to your doctor if your child has a chronic cough.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.