Chronic or persistent cough is one that lasts more than eight weeks without necessarily knowing the cause. The cough is generally a physiological reflex and its main purpose is to clear the airway.
Cough is a common symptom that affects a significant percentage of the population, and most of the time, is related to viral diseases naturally solved without resorting to any specific treatment.
It is very important to know that sometimes, the cough may be the only obvious symptom of a potentially more serious illness, although in most cases it is not dangerous viral infections.
Despite this, when the cough persists for a long time without improving, it could have become chronic cough being the most desirable resort to a specialist in respiratory medicine for a correct diagnosis obtained by different tests. Once the cause is established, pulmonology specialist may recommend the most appropriate treatment for the patient depending upon their symptoms.
What are the causes of chronic cough?
In most cases, coughing or viral begins environmental irritants which, inhaled, affecting the airways. Symptoms vary according to the characteristics of different people, of the defenses of the immune system or due to the presence of a more serious disease.
The main causes of chronic cough are:
- gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn
- emphysema (COPD)
- postnasal drip
- some medications, such as those used to treat heart disease and heart disease (antihypertensive)
How to recognize a chronic cough?
If the cough lasts three to eight weeks Subacute cough is described as an intermediate variant. However, if symptoms persist longer than eight weeks then it is very likely to be a chronic cough. Like normal cough, chronic cough can also be dry, irritating or expectoration.
Treatment for chronic cough
The key to success in the treatment of chronic cough is a serious diagnostic parteo an expert in Pneumology , because treatment always depends on the cause of cough. For example, if the infection is due to a drug, the solution is to withdraw the medication in question. If it is an infection on the contrary, it is advisable to start antibiotic treatment.
Symptoms of heartburn or reflux can be treated with drugs such as omeprazole or ranitidine. In the specific cases of more serious illnesses such as asthma, COPD or pulmonary fibrosis, you need to start with special treatments for these types of circumstances.