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A chronic cough is one that lasts eight weeks or longer in adults. Coughing is a symptom caused by underlying health conditions, most commonly asthma, postnasal drip or acid reflux. Respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and infections such as flu, pneumonia and colds can also cause chronic coughing. Smokers are at higher risk of chronic cough.

The team at Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio diagnose the root cause of chronic cough using pulmonary function testing, lung cancer screening, chest X-ray, chest CT scan, or lab tests. Once the cause is determined, we create customized treatment plans to address the condition behind the coughing.

Book your appointment online or call the office to schedule an evaluation today.

Click here to request an appointment or call us at 210-692-0361.

Questions & Answers

What is a chronic cough?

An acute cough is a short-term issue that usually occurs when you have a cold or other respiratory illness. Usually, acute coughs resolve naturally within a week or so.

But, chronic coughs — any cough lasting over eight weeks — are different. They’re often more severe and more likely to be “wet,” which means coughing and mucus discharge. Chronic coughs are usually related to a chronic respiratory condition.

What conditions cause chronic cough?

Chronic cough can arise with many respiratory conditions, including:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Postnasal drip
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis

Other non-respiratory diseases can also cause coughing and mucus discharge, for example, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

How is the cause of a cough diagnosed?

At Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio, the team starts with a comprehensive lung exam. You may need pulmonary function testing, lung cancer screening, chest X-ray, chest CT scan, or lab tests.

In most cases, the team can determine the reason for your chronic cough with these tests, but if the cause is unclear you may need a bronchoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure in which the team visualizes your lungs from the inside using a tiny scope.

How is a chronic cough treated?

Chronic cough treatment starts with the treatment of your underlying condition. Treating the root cause of the cough can greatly reduce your cough triggers and ease your coughing.

Depending on your specific disease, your treatment may include:

  • Inhaled medication (inhalers)
  • Antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Vaccines
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Acid-reducing medications

In some cases, you may also need cough suppressants or other medications to improve your comfort level as you wait for the treatment to work.

With most causes of chronic cough, your lifestyle can play a big role in disease management. For example, if you’re a smoker with COPD, a smoking cessation plan is a crucial part of your treatment.

For people with asthma, keeping track of asthma attack triggers and making appropriate changes in your lifestyle can be just as important as taking your medications properly.

The Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio team can work with you to implement a disease management plan that keeps your chronic cough at bay and improves your quality of life.

10007 Huebner Road, Bldg 4
San Antonio, TX 78240
FAX: 210-692-0151

Monday: 8am-4:30pm
Tuesday: 8am-4:30pm
Wednesday: 8am-4:30pm
Thursday: 8am-4:30pm
Friday: 8am-4:30pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed