Everybody coughs from time to time, but if your cough persists for weeks or even months, it may point to a more serious underlying health problem. No matter the type of cough you’re experiencing, it’s important to seek treatment. Expert pulmonologist, Akinyinka Ajelabi, MD, and the team at Kingwood Pulmonary, PA in Kingwood, Texas, regularly work with men and women to diagnose and treat both dry and wet coughs. If you cough regularly and over-the-counter treatments don’t provide relief, make an appointment today.

Questions & Answers

What is a cough?

A cough, medically known as tussis, is a voluntary or involuntary act that involves expelling air from your lungs at a rapid rate of speed.

Ultimately, a cough clears your lungs and respiratory tract of foreign particles, irritants, germs, and mucus. Sometimes, you cough as part of a reflex; other times, you cough deliberately in order to clear your throat.

Coughs usually clear up on their own and subside with conservative measures of care, such as rest and over-the-counter medication. However, a cough that lasts for weeks or even months may point to a more serious health problem.

What causes a cough?

Most coughs occur as a result of an upper respiratory infection. Common types of upper respiratory infections include colds, the flu, and laryngitis.

You might also develop a cough as a result of a lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). Common examples of LRTIs include bronchitis and pneumonia.

It’s also possible to develop a chronic cough. Chronic coughs usually develop as a result of heavy smoking, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, and prescription medications. In rare instances, you might develop a chronic cough as a result of tuberculosis or lung cancer.

How is a cough diagnosed?

To diagnose a cough, your provider conducts a physical exam and reviews your medical history. They also ask you a series of questions about your symptoms.

If they suspect your cough is the result of a more serious health problem, they might order a series of X-rays or pulmonary function testing to determine your risk of asthma or emphysema.

How is a cough treated?

At Kingwood Pulmonary, PA, the team uses conservative measures to treat coughs whenever possible. For example, if your cough is a result of a cold or flu, they may prescribe you an antibiotic and send you home with a list of recovery instructions.

If your cough is a result of a more serious problem, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), they might recommend using an inhaler or participating in a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

If a cough is interfering with your daily life, make an appointment at Kingwood Pulmonary, PA. Request your consultation by calling the office today.