Do you struggle with a chronic cough that won’t go away? At Allergy Partners, we understand how debilitating and frustrating it can be to go about daily activities while trying to manage chronic symptoms and conditions. Our team is highly experienced and qualified in addressing the causes of chronic cough and finding effective solutions.
When a cough lasts longer than two months, it is deemed “chronic.” Most short-term coughing difficulties are triggered by colds and respiratory infections, while persistent cough symptoms are frequently caused by allergies or other allergic diseases, including:
- Allergic post-nasal drip
- Acid reflux/Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Lingering-effects from a respiratory infection
- Chronic bronchitis from cigarette smoking
- Certain blood pressure medications (such as lisinopril)
- Certain cancers, such as lung cancer (although this is much less common)
The type of cough you’re experiencing and the time(s) of day in which it occurs the most (if applicable) can provide important clues in determining the cause of your chronic cough. Any symptoms you’re experiencing in combination with your cough can also help your allergist identify the cause. Be sure to mention if you are also noticing:
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive throat-clearing
- Trouble sleeping
- Any additional respiratory issues
Allergy Partners provides testing to diagnose the cause of a chronic cough. Finding the reason of persistent coughing requires a thorough medical examination, review of health history, and a detailed discussion of potential allergen exposure. Diagnostic testing may also include allergy skin tests, pulmonary function tests (PFTs), measuring exhaled nitric oxide (FENO), or bronchial challenge tests.
Most cases of chronic cough are caused by postnasal drip (allergies), asthma, and gastric reflux, and your medical practitioner may want to initially try a “therapeutic trial” of drugs to treat these conditions to confirm diagnosis. These tests and trials help to determine what allergens or other irritants may be triggering your symptoms and allow our team to develop an individualized treatment plan that best meets your needs.
Four Steps to Relief
Planning Your First Visit
Schedule an appointment at your local office and fill out our pre-registration and medical history forms to help minimize any wait time when you arrive.
Your First Visit
Your initial visit will last between two and three hours and consist of an initial consultation, evaluation, and comprehensive exam. We’ll create a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
Diagnostics and Testing
We may complete one or more tests to better understand the cause of your symptoms. Common tests include skin testing, pulmonary testing, and blood testing.
Following the evaluation and testing, we’ll provide a comprehensive diagnosis and implement a personalized treatment plan that will deliver relief.
Your treatment plan will be personalized toward your specific needs and will be largely dependent upon your diagnosis, symptoms, and the severity of your condition. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment options for chronic cough may include but are not limited to the following.
Chronic Cough from Allergies
Avoiding triggers is a cornerstone in treating allergies. Additional treatment may include using prescription nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines, or decongestants. Your allergist may also recommend immunotherapy for those struggling with more severe allergy symptoms, or for those looking for a longer term solution and reducing the need for medications.
Chronic Cough from Non-Allergic Sinus Issues
Older oral antihistamines (those that may make you sleepy), or prescription antihistamine nasal sprays may work best for people with non-allergic sinus issues, as these conditions are typically caused by environmental irritants.
Chronic Cough from Asthma
Daily inhaled corticosteroids and as-needed inhaled albuterol are both common medications used to treat asthma. In some cases, drugs called leukotriene modifiers, such as monelucast ( Singulair®) may be used in place of or in addition to inhaled steroids. As most people with asthma also have underlying allergy triggers, identifying these allergies by skin testing is recommended. Avoidance of triggers and allergen immunotherapy can play a significant role in managing asthma and associated cough.
Chronic Cough from GERD
GERD, or acid reflux is often treated with a change in lifestyle, including weight loss, avoiding GERD triggers including caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco and scheduling specific mealtimes. A moderate dosage of a “proton pump inhibitor,” such as omeprazole, may also be recommended by your allergist. If GERD is the cause of your chronic cough, it may take weeks or even months for reflux therapy to take effect.
The Allergy Partners Difference
Our team at Allergy Partners is highly trained, prepared, and experienced in diagnosing and treating the many possible causes of chronic cough. If you’ve been struggling with this specific symptom, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll help determine the cause of your cough and design a treatment plan accordingly.