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When To See A Pediatrician For A Chronic Cough?

Does your son or daughter seem to be coughing a lot lately? It may be time to visit your pediatric pulmonologist, Dr. Brian Bezack of Bezack Pediatric Pulmonology in Commack, NY.

Call the doctor if you notice these symptoms

A chronic cough can interfere with your child's sleep. Fatigue and bouts of coughing can make playing or concentrating at school difficult. Although cough is usually a short-term symptom, coughing can continue much longer than expected in some cases.

Let the doctor know if your child:

  • Has a cough that hasn't gotten better after two or three weeks
  • Is wheezing or complaining of chest tightness
  • Coughs more at night
  • Can't stop coughing
  • Coughs more when active
  • Has a cough that's getting worse
  • Coughs up blood
  • Has a fever of 102 or higher in addition to the coughing
  • Makes barking sounds when coughing
  • Coughs so much that he or she vomits

Common causes of chronic coughing

Asthma is a possibility if your child has a chronic cough and also wheezes or complains of chest tightness. The disease narrows the small airways in the lungs and increases mucus production. Children who have exercise-induced asthma may cough more after exercise.

Coughing that's worse in the morning could be related to post-nasal drip caused by sinusitis, allergies, or gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). GERD occurs when stomach acids flow back into the esophagus, irritating the sensitive lining. Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that causes a dry cough, could also be to blame.

Other potential causes of chronic coughing include illnesses, like the flu, colds or bronchitis, or exposure to cigarette smoke, chemicals, pollutants, or other irritants. Although lung cancer can cause coughing, it's not common in children.

Treating a chronic cough

Treatment for a chronic cough depends on the cause. If your child has asthma, inhaled steroids can be helpful. Treating GERD, sinusitis and other underlying conditions may ease chronic coughing. During your visit to the Commack, NY, pediatric pulmonology office, your child's doctor will perform a thorough examination, review your child's medical history and possibly order a test or two that will help him make a diagnosis and decide on an appropriate treatment.

Are you concerned about your child's chronic cough? Call (631) 499-1298 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bezack at Bezack Pediatric Pulmonology in Commack, NY.

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