Have you been wondering why your child's cough hasn't gone away? Your pediatric pulmonologist, Dr. Brian Bezack of Bezack Pediatric Pulmonology in Commack, NY, can determine the cause of your son or daughter's chronic cough and offer helpful treatments.
Common causes of chronic coughing
Coughing can occur for many reasons, including:
- Post-Nasal Drip: Post-nasal drip could be the reason your child can't stop coughing. The problem occurs when mucus continually trickles down the back of your son or daughter's throat. Post-nasal drip can be caused by sinus infections, allergies, viruses, or exposure to dust, smoke, or other irritants.
- Asthma: Asthma also causes frequent coughing. The disease affects the small airways in the lungs, causing inflammation and increased mucus production. Other signs of asthma in children can include wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD): GERD doesn't just affect adults but can be a problem in children too. The disorder happens when stomach acids flow backward into the esophagus. The acids irritate the sensitive lining of the esophagus and may cause heartburn, a lump in the throat sensation, trouble swallowing, hoarse voice, burping or nausea. Coughing, particularly at night, can also occur with GERD.
- Whooping Cough (Pertussis): Whooping cough outbreaks have become more common in recent years, particularly in areas where parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children. If your child has the illness, you may notice a whooping sound triggered by uncontrollable coughing. Whooping cough can cause serious health complications if it's not diagnosed and treated promptly.
- Foreign Object: In some cases, coughing may be a sign that something is stuck in your child's airway. Although it might seem as if you would notice the problem immediately, sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks until the coughing starts.
- Force of Habit: Some children continue to cough after they recover from an illness because the behavior has become a habit.
- Lung Disease or Infection: Chronic coughing may also be caused by diseases or infections, like tuberculosis or cystic fibrosis.
Your child's pediatric pulmonologist will perform an examination, review your son or daughter's medical history and ask a few questions about his or her chronic cough during your visit to the Commack, NY, office. Once the doctor has diagnosed the source of the cough, he may prescribe medication or recommend other treatments that will stop or reduce the coughing.
Does your son or daughter have a chronic cough? Call your Commack, NY, pediatric pulmonologist, Dr. Bezack of Bezack Pediatric Pulmonology, at (631) 499-1298 to schedule an appointment.