A cough that won't go away isn’t only annoying, but it can also be exhausting, stressful, and even painful, causing rib damage if it's severe. If you have a chronic cough, Ramie A. Tritt, MD, of Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. can help. He's a board-certified otolaryngologist who has considerable experience treating patients with a chronic cough caused by conditions like asthma, postnasal drip, and acid reflux. Call one of his two offices in Atlanta today to make an appointment, or schedule a consultation using the online booking form.
A chronic cough is one that persists for more than four weeks in children or more than eight weeks in adults.
A chronic cough isn't just irritating — it can disrupt your sleep and cause profound fatigue. If you have a severe chronic cough, you might feel lightheaded, vomit, or even suffer a rib fracture.
Alongside your chronic cough, you might also have symptoms such as:
In rare cases, a chronic cough could lead to coughing up blood.
Chronic cough has many causes, but three common ones the Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. team deals with regularly are:
Asthma is a chronic lung condition. During an asthma flare-up, your airways become irritated and inflamed, making them narrower. This causes a persistent, dry cough and breathing problems like wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Diagnosing asthma typically involves undergoing breathing tests such as spirometry and exhaled nitric oxide measurements.
Postnasal drip is a common symptom of both allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and sinusitis. When you have postnasal drip, mucus from your inflamed, swollen nasal membranes trickles down the back of your throat.
Symptoms of postnasal drip include an itchy throat, a feeling like something's caught in your throat, and a bad taste in your mouth.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is heartburn or acid reflux that persists or recurs frequently. Many people who have GERD also have a chronic cough due to the inflammation in their esophagus.
Infections and conditions like bronchitis can also cause a chronic cough.
The Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. team first needs to diagnose the cause of your chronic cough.
As part of the diagnostic process, you might need to undergo tests such as X-rays, a CT scan, lung function tests like spirometry or an asthma challenge test, lab tests, bronchoscopy, or rhinoscopy.
Once they have a diagnosis, your provider can address the cause of your chronic cough. Identification and treatment of any allergies or conditions like sinusitis are essential to treat cough caused by postnasal drip.
Medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and corticosteroids, are the standard treatment for allergies and postnasal drip. If you have asthma, you might need to take inhaled drugs like corticosteroids and bronchodilators to reduce inflammation and open your airways.
If you have GERD, making changes to your diet and losing weight can resolve the problem. You might need to take antacid or acid suppressant medication as well.
Find out how to get rid of your chronic cough by calling Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. today, or book an appointment online.