WHAT IS CHRONIC COUGH?
Chronic Cough (also called Cough-Variant Asthma) is a type of Asthma. It is an immune-triggered response characterized by only one symptom, a long-lasting cough that may eventually go away only to return.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The only symptom is having a dry cough that has lasted six to eight weeks and is unresponsive to over-the-counter cough suppressants.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
As the lungs are usually functioning normally, a lung function test is not helpful. Diagnosis is usually based on a series of challenges used to trigger a response. Triggers include exercise, histamines or exposure to cold. A medication called methacholine might be administered to generate a response. If a reaction occurs and a bronchodilator stops the symptoms, a definitive diagnosis of Chronic Cough can be made. If the cough remains, then it is unlikely that your cough is associated with Asthma, and your Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor will evaluate you for other conditions.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
As with most forms of Asthma, identifying and avoiding the triggers associated with your response are the most effective treatment. A fast-acting bronchodilator inhaler may be prescribed to relieve coughing attacks, and a corticosteroid inhaler may be needed to diminish inflammation.