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And The Cough Goes On

Do you have an untreated cough that has lasted for several weeks? If so, you are not alone. Many patients in my practice have been complaining about a cough that does not seem to go away. I have seen more of it this year than in other years, and it started back in November of last year.

Typically, one would have an episode of bronchitis, sinusitis, or the common cold, which may have been treated with a course of antibiotics. The initial symptoms then partially or fully resolve. A few days or a week later, the nagging cough develops, and is commonly referred to as “post infectious cough.”

The cough may be “productive” (producing mucus), or it may be “dry.” It can occur during the day, when you’re lying down at night, or throughout the night. In more severe cases, the cough will come in “volleys” (paroxysms), and will awaken you, or even frighten you. It may be associated with a post nasal drip or gastric acid reflux. Some medications, particularly some of the medication used for the treatment of high blood pressure, can cause a persistent, dry cough.

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