Chronic Cough

Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors located in St. Clair Shores, MI & Macomb Township, MI

You’ve probably had a cough that accompanies a cold or flu and then lasts a few weeks. A chronic cough, however, is one that doesn’t go away on its own and can be caused by many ear, nose, and throat conditions. The physicians at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center are experts who can determine the exact cause of your chronic cough and provide the specialized treatment you need. If you suffer from a chronic cough, call one of their offices in St. Clair Shores, Macomb Township, Rochester, Grosse Pointe, or Sterling Heights, Michigan, or book an appointment online today.

Chronic Cough Q & A

What is a chronic cough?

A cough is considered chronic, or long lasting, when it persists for eight weeks or longer in adults, or for more than four weeks in children.

What other symptoms develop with a chronic cough?

Chronic CoughDepending on the underlying cause of your cough, you may also develop other symptoms, such as:

  • Feeling like something’s in your throat
  • Needing to clear your throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • A sore throat
  • Heartburn

Chronic coughing often leaves you fatigued, as it interrupts your sleep.

What causes a chronic cough?

Smoking and chronic bronchitis are well-known causes of chronic coughing. When they’re not the source of the problem, however, the most common causes are:

Upper airway cough syndrome (UACS)

UACS used to be called postnasal drip. Ongoing post-nasal drip often develops from problems like allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis (inflamed sinuses). You may also have throat symptoms, such as the need to clear your throat often or feeling like there’s something stuck in your throat.


Chronic coughing is often a sign of asthma, which is caused by persistent airway inflammation.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

GERD occurs when acid from your stomach goes back up your esophagus toward your throat. A chronic cough is a common complication of ongoing GERD.

Is vocal cord dysfunction related to chronic coughing?

Vocal Cord DysfunctionVocal cord dysfunction (VCD), also called paradoxical vocal fold movement, occurs when your vocal cords close at times when they should be open, like when you inhale. As a result, you feel like you’re choking or can’t breathe.

A chronic cough often accompanies VCD, and in some cases, the chronic cough may contribute to the throat irritation that leads to VCD. The specialists at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center use their extensive experience and specialized diagnostics to identify the source of your problem so you can get the help you need.

How is a chronic cough treated?

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of your chronic cough. With so many possible causes, treatments range from antihistamines, oral decongestants, and intranasal corticosteroids to voice therapy and allergy immunotherapy. In some cases, you may need in-office surgery for sinusitis or Botox® injections to relax muscles.

A chronic cough is a complex health condition that requires a specialist who can accurately diagnose and treat the problem. Call the experts at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center or book an appointment online.