Cough, even when it is not a sign of serious underlying disease may become an exhausting and debilitating process. An occasional cough is normal; it helps clear foreign substances and secretions from your lungs and prevents infection. But a cough that persists for long periods of time is usually the result of an underlying problem.
Chronic cough – one lasting eight weeks or longer – is more than just an annoyance. In addition to being physically draining, a chronic cough can alienate your family and co-workers, ruin your sleep and leave you feeling angry and frustrated.
A cough begins when an allergen or irritant stimulates nerves in your respiratory tract. The most common causes of chronic cough are postnasal drip, asthma and acid reflux. In one type of asthma, cough is the only symptom present.. Occasionally some oral prescription medications can also trigger cough. Chronic cough typically disappears once the underlying problem is found and treated.
A chronic cough can occur with other signs and symptoms which may include:
- A runny or stuffy nose
- A sensation of liquid running down the back of your throat
- Wheezing and shortness of breath
- Heartburn or sour taste in your mouth
- In rare cases, coughing up blood
To make an appointment for a consultation or treatment, call Dr. Michael McCormick’s office at (530) 888-1016.