If your coughing has become a daily occurrence, you are probably wondering what is going on, and if it’s something serious. A chronic cough is defined as a cough that lasts six weeks or longer. There are many possible causes of a chronic cough, and it is possible to have more than one condition causing it.
Coughing can cause great discomfort at home and work. It can even prevent you from achieving restful sleep, leaving you exhausted the next day. Patients diagnosed with osteoporosis are at greater risk of bone fractures from a chronic cough and need to see a lung specialist as soon as possible.
All in all, a cough that refuses to go away is likely in need of medical treatment. Let’s talk about the possible causes of a chronic cough.
This feels like a tickle in the back of your throat, which is extra mucus falling from your sinuses down your throat. It triggers a cough reflex to clear your throat of the extra mucus. Allergies, viral infections, sinus infections, and environmental and chemical irritants can trigger postnasal drip.
Asthma may be triggered by allergies or it may be a symptom of a lung disorder. Asthma in either case is chronic and requires proper management. The airways of people experiencing asthma symptoms are obstructed, which can make breathing difficult, produce a wheezing sound, and result in coughing.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Also known as GERD, this condition is caused by the backing up of stomach acids into the esophagus, which triggers coughing. Stomach acids are very strong and irritating to the esophagus. GERD is often caused by a problem with the sealing mechanism of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Chronic bronchitis is marked by a swelling of the bronchial tubes, which narrows the airways, and excessive production of mucus. Chronic bronchitis can be a result of damage to the bronchial tubes caused by long-term exposure to chemical irritants and industrial pollutants.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic bronchitis — the inflammation of the bronchial tubes — and emphysema –a condition characterized by an abnormal enlargement of the alveoli and the loss of pulmonary elasticity — can come together and contribute to the development of COPD. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD in the country.
Pneumonia is a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection of the lungs, which produces a chronic cough. The infection causes inflammation and pus buildup in the alveoli, which can make it difficult for oxygenated blood to reach the bloodstream. Pneumonia commonly affects infants, children, and the elderly. A patient diagnosed with other types of lung disease is more vulnerable to lung infections.
Lung Specialists in Weatherford, Texas
The talented and compassionate lung specialists at the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas can diagnose your pulmonary condition and relieve you of your chronic cough symptom through a highly individualized treatment plan that’s created just for you. Our goal is to help you breathe and sleep better, and prevent the worsening of your lung condition.
To request a consultation with a lung specialist, call the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas at (817) 594-9993, or request an appointment online now. We look forward to serving you in our Weatherford lung and sleep clinic.