A chronic cough is when a cough lasts longer than 8 weeks in adults or 4 weeks in children. Common causes include asthma, allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or bronchitis. Rarely, it may be a sign of lung disease when prompt treatment of chronic cough must be done.
If you have ever had a chronic cough or been plagued by one, watch Dr. Javed Hayat Khan, an experienced pulmonologist in Lahore, explain what can cause chronic cough and treatment for chronic cough. He is a Consultant Pulmonologist at Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute, Lahore and has 36 years of experience.
Q.1. What is chronic cough?
Well, today we will talk about chronic cough? What is chronic cough? Basically, it is a normal defense mechanism that expels out any irritant or allergen in your windpipe. Cough is also very common, as according to a survey, 3% to 14% of people experience cough. But when does cough require examination by a doctor?
If your cough lasts for more than 6 to 8 weeks and is a racking cough, that can be a symptom of a deadly disease.
Q.2. How do I know if my cough is serious?
So, when should you take your cough seriously? Well, if you have a fever, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, then consult a doctor immediately.
On the other hand, if you are a smoker, and you feel that your cough and quality has changed along with the colour of your mucus, consult a doctor.
Other major symptoms that require a doctor’s examination include blood in the mucus, chest pain, changes in voice.
Q.3. What are the risk factors of chronic cough?
If you are a smoker and you have been smoking for the past 15 to 20 years, then you should consult a doctor immediately. Smokers have a disease called COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, an umbrella term that is used to describe various lung diseases.
According to one survey, 4% of people have COPD. Another common condition that 7% of Pakistani’s suffer from is Asthma. So, if your asthma gets worse due to a strong fragrance, climate change or pollution, consult a doctor immediately.
Q.4. What are the best treatment options for chronic cough?
When we talk about cough treatments, we have to be mindful not to self-medicate by buying any over the counter cough syrups. Don’t use any medicines or syrups before getting properly diagnosed by a doctor.
Like we discussed before, there are many reasons why a cough could be occurring, the treatments vary according to the cause. A smoker is advised to stop smoking.
If a medicine is causing smoking, then with the doctors advise please stop smoking. Sometimes, obesity and bad health habits can also cause smoking. Lose weight and develop healthy habits to stop smoking.
Q.5. Would you like to give any general advice to patients?
At the end, I would like to say that if you do indeed have a recurring cough, then get a chest X-ray done and get diagnosed by a specialist doctor.
There may be some other tests recommended by your doctor as well.
If you want to learn more about the treatment of chronic cough, watch the full interview. Also, consult a pulmonologist if you have cough problems.
You can book an appointment with a top pulmonologist through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.