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Why Am I Coughing?

Advice for Healthy Living

Wendy Bond, FNP – BreatheAmerica Richmond

At BreatheAmerica, our goal for you is simple: WELLNESS.  A cough is a common symptom for many of our patients of all ages.  There are many different causes of cough.  A cough related to a cold or upper respiratory infection usually resolves in about ten days.  If your cough is persistent, other causes need to be considered.  Common causes are asthma, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis (seasonal or perennial allergies/hay fever), medication effect, or other infection.

Individuals with cough variant asthma tend to develop persistent cough with colds, or may notice cough with exposure to fragrances, dust, inhalants, or exertion.  A bronchodilator lung test can help to diagnose and treat this cause. Allergy skin testing helps to identify potential triggers for not only seasonal and perennial allergies, but also for asthma, as most asthma is allergic asthma.

Cough can be the sole manifestation of gastro-esophageal reflux disease.  “Typical” heartburn symptoms can be a later or even absent symptom. Uncontrolled reflux commonly triggers asthma.

Sinusitis can become chronic in persons with uncontrolled allergies and/or nasal polyps.  If sinusitis symptoms don’t improve with aggressive medical management or immunotherapy, a sinus CT scan and evaluation by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor may be needed.  BreatheAmerica can do a sinus CT scan on site during your first visit, and has board certified ENT physicians available to collaborate with your allergist to optimize your personalized treatment plan.

Our goal is to help you achieve optimal wellness!