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What Are the Best Treatments for Chronic Cough?

Chronic cough can be caused by many things, including asthma, gastrointestinal reflux disease, or even lung cancer.
Smoking often causes a chronic cough.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The best treatments for chronic cough are going to vary significantly depending on what's causing the cough. If the cough is caused by a behavior, then stopping the behavior would generally be the best initial treatment. Some people may have coughs caused by long-term disorders, and in those cases, steps taken in dealing with the disorders will generally be the best treatments for chronic cough. Chronic cough can also be caused by environmental problems, and some treatments for chronic cough can involve removing environmental irritants or taking medications to lessen their effects.

Smoking tobacco can very easily cause chronic coughing, and it almost always will if the person smokes for long enough. This behavior irritates the lungs on a long-term basis, and after a while, smokers will have a constant cough that bothers them everyday. In many cases, smokers may wake up and cough up lots of phlegm every morning just to clear out the stuff that accumulates in their lungs overnight. Giving up cigarettes is one of the best treatments for chronic cough in these cases, and after a while, the lungs will generally return to a more normal state.

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Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) has a lot of potential to give a person coughing problems. GERD is mostly known for giving people heartburn, but it can also cause a cough by irritating certain nerves in the esophagus. Once these nerves are irritated, a cough is a reflexive response. When a person’s cough is caused by GERD, dealing with the GERD will generally get rid of the cough as well, and there are effective medications and treatment options for those who suffer with the disease.

Asthma can be a leading cause of chronic cough. Many asthma sufferers may only have intermittent coughing problems, but others will have a chronic cough all the time. For those people, anti-inflammatory inhalers are the most common treatment approach, and they have a reputation for working very well.

Allergies are also a cause of chronic cough. This usually happens because of post-nasal drip, which is caused when an individual inhales things he is allergic to. The particles will irritate the person’s upper respiratory system, which causes draining, and some of that drainage will get into the lungs. Dealing with this will usually involve taking some kind of antihistamine to lessen the allergic reaction, and this will also usually cure the chronic cough.

Some chronic coughs are caused by serious problems. For example, lung cancer can potentially cause a person to have a chronic cough. For this reason, a chronic cough should generally be taken seriously, especially if the person has a high risk factor for something dangerous due to lifestyle or genetics.

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Discuss this Article

Sharicmcg
Post 1

I am a 72 year old woman. I have had a hacking, dry cough for nearly three years. I have had every test available, including cat scans, X-rays, scopes to my lungs and stomach as well as a bravo ph. All tests have come back normal. My acid reflux has been eliminated.

The only issues that have come back abnormal are my high calcium count and a stomach that is slow to empty. I do not take an ace inhibitor. What is my next step to find out what is causing my cough?

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